During rotator cuff repairs, it is recommended that the hypovascular tissue edge be resected. To investigate rotator cuff tendon histopathology, we performed immunohistochemistry on 8 surgical and 6 cadaveric specimens. Hoechst nuclear stain and standard hematoxylin-eosin were used for morphologic analysis. Antibody to human von Willebrand factor tagged with fluorescein isothiocyanate, conjugated, was used to visualize vascularity, and antibody to human procollagen type I tagged with Cy3 was used to visualize new procollagen synthesis. There were no significant differences in the vascularity of surgical specimens sectioned near the tear site (<2.5 mm from tear margin) and matched cadaveric controls. However, sections taken 2.5 to 5 mm away from the tear demonstrated more vessels than those taken from either control or surgical specimens within 2.5 mm of the tear (P < .001). There were no differences in nuclear distribution patterns or in procollagen production and distribution between surgical specimens from sites near the tear or away from the tear. On the basis of morphologic architecture, these data suggest that minimal debridement of tendon edges only is required to maximize healing of the rotator cuff tendon at the time of repair.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine