Arthroscopic shoulder stabilisation is an established treatment for recurrent instability. Recent advances have led to the introduction of tape rather than suture with the intent that a broader and flatter material would provide a more stable repair of the glenoid labrum with less suture prominence. Ultimately the hope is that this would translate to a better clinical outcome.
To report the clinical findings from a series of patients undergoing arthroscopic shoulder stabilisation using tape rather than suture.
A retrospective series of 57 patients undergoing arthroscopic shoulder stabilisation were reviewed. Each underwent arthroscopic shoulder stabilisation in the form of labral (Bankart) repair using knotless anchor fixation and suture tape. 4 patients were excluded due to repair in the preceding 6 months. 35 patients (66%) completed Oxford Shoulder Instability Scores.
The mean age at surgery was 31 (16-61) years. There were 46 males and 11 females. Follow up was a mean of 33 months (6-60). There were no surgical complications in the group, 5 patients (9%) suffered a further dislocation post stabilisation. Mean time between stabilisation and first dislocation post operatively was 23 months. The mean Oxford Shoulder Instability Score was 41.1 (39.0-43.4 95% CI). A score of between 40-48 is deemed an excellent outcome.
The established literature suggests a re-dislocation rate of 25-33% following arthroscopic shoulder stabilisation surgery. Our cohort of early results represents a lower rate with excellent patient-reported outcomes and no reported surgical complications. We conclude this may be due to the use of tape rather than suture in labral repair.
We feel that the excellent patient-reported outcomes and low dislocation rate in this series demonstrates that suture tape is potentially superior to traditional suture. Further research should be undertaken as a randomised trial.