Background: Massive rotator cuff tears (MRCTs) are common and have been estimated to account for nearly 40% of all rotator cuff tears. An evolving strategy for management of MRCTs has been the implantation of a degradable subacromial spacer balloon that attempts to restore normal shoulder biomechanics. Purpose: To assess the safety and efficacy of fluoroscopically guided balloon spacer implantation under local anesthesia in a cohort of patients with 2 years of postoperative follow-up. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: The safety and efficacy of using fluoroscopically guided subacromial spacer implantation was assessed in 46 patients. Follow-up visits were scheduled according to routine clinical practice. Shoulder function was evaluated using Constant and American Shoulder and Elbow Society (ASES) scores. Results: Overall, 87.5% (35/40) of patients saw clinically significant improvement in the total Constant and ASES scores from 6 weeks postoperatively, with improvement maintained up to 24 months postoperatively. Conclusion: The data suggest that fluoroscopically guided subacromial spacer implantation under local anesthesia is a low-risk, clinically effective option, especially for the elderly population and those patients who have multiple comorbidities or a contraindication to general anesthesia. Patients undergoing subacromial spacer implantation for the treatment of MRCTs had satisfactory outcomes at 2-year follow-up, with a low rate of complications.
- biodegradable spacer balloon
- fluoroscopically guided subacromial implantation
- local anesthesia
- massive rotator cuff tears