Comparative Evaluation of Manual and Automated Intra-Articular Irrigation Systems in the Arthroscopic Repair of Small and Medium-Sized Rotator Cuff Tears
Background and study aim: Rotator cuff tears (RCT) can be treated arthroscopically, and intra-articular irrigation is an important method that facilitates the surgical procedure. We aimed to comparatively evaluate the clinical outcomes in arthroscopic repair of RCTs operated using either manual or automated pressure adjusted intra-articular irrigation systems. Patients and methods: Retrospective analysis of data collected from the medical files of 69 patients (62 females, 7 males) who underwent arthroscopy for RCT. Patients were allocated into two groups as for the type of intra-articular irrigation method: Group I (n=38) received automated intra-articular irrigation, whereas Group II (n=31) had manual irrigation during surgery. Demographic information, clinical and perioperative data, and therapeutic outcomes were compared between two groups. Results: The average age of our population was 60.61 ± 6.56 (range, 42 to 72) years. There was no statistically significant difference between two groups in terms of age, sex distribution, body-mass index, comorbidities, muscle atrophy as per Goutallier classification, size and shape of RCTs, the amount of isotonic saline used for irrigation, operative time, length of in-hospital stay, preoperative and postoperative Constant-Murley scores, additional surgical procedures, complication rates and duration of follow-up. Conclusion: Good visualization is mandatory during arthroscopic surgery for RCTs. The maintenance of a clear optical medium necessitates an effective irrigation system. Our data imply that manual irrigation systems can offer a safe, effective, and practical alternative that provides effective vision during arthroscopy for RCTs.