Patients with a large or massive tear of the rotator cuff were, when possible, treated with the McLaughlin procedure. A patch graft was used when it was impossible to perform this procedure. The patch group (group P) consisted of nine patients with nine shoulders (six men, three women) with a mean age of 62.8±6.9 years. The McLaughlin group (group M) consisted of 12 patients with 12 shoulders (ten men, two women) with a mean age of 52.3±8.6 years. Mean follow-up was 2 years 11 months in group P and 4 years 2 months in group M. Using the shoulder scoring system of the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA score), the total score improved post-operatively in both groups. In group P, the post-operative score was 91.7 (pre-operative score 47.9) and in group M 92.0 (pre-operative score 54.2). Tears recurred in three shoulders within 2 months of the McLaughlin procedure, and these patients were excluded from the study. The rate of 're-tearing' was lower with a patch graft (0/13) than with the McLaughlin procedure (3/17).
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