Scientific Articles   |    
The Cost-Effectiveness of Single-Row Compared with Double-Row Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair
James W. Genuario, MD, MS1; Ryan P. Donegan, MD, MS2; Daniel Hamman, MD1; John-Erik Bell, MD, MS2; Martin Boublik, MD1; Theodore Schlegel, MD1; Anna N.A. Tosteson, ScD3
1 The Steadman Hawkins Clinic-Denver, 10103 Ridgegate Parkway, Aspen Building, Suite 110, Lone Tree, CO 80124. E-mail address for J.W. Genuario: genuarioj@yahoo.com
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756
3 The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Dartmouth Medical School, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756
View Disclosures and Other Information
  • Disclosure statement for author(s): PDF

Investigation performed at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic-Denver, Lone Tree, Colorado, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire

Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. One or more of the authors, or his or her institution(s), has had a financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, one or more of the authors has had another relationship, or has engaged in another activity, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2012 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2012 Aug 01;94(15):1369-1377. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.J.01876
5 Recommendations (Recommend) | 3 Comments | Saved by 3 Users Save Case



Interest in double-row techniques for arthroscopic rotator cuff repair has increased over the last several years, presumably because of a combination of literature demonstrating superior biomechanical characteristics and recent improvements in instrumentation and technique. As a result of the increasing focus on value-based health-care delivery, orthopaedic surgeons must understand the cost implications of this practice. The purpose of this study was to examine the cost-effectiveness of double-row arthroscopic rotator cuff repair compared with traditional single-row repair.


A decision-analytic model was constructed to assess the cost-effectiveness of double-row arthroscopic rotator cuff repair compared with single-row repair on the basis of the cost per quality-adjusted life year gained. Two cohorts of patients (one with a tear of <3 cm and the other with a tear of ≥3 cm) were evaluated. Probabilities for retear and persistent symptoms, health utilities for the particular health states, and the direct costs for rotator cuff repair were derived from the orthopaedic literature and institutional data.


The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for double-row compared with single-row arthroscopic rotator cuff repair was $571,500 for rotator cuff tears of <3 cm and $460,200 for rotator cuff tears of ≥3 cm. The rate of radiographic or symptomatic retear alone did not influence cost-effectiveness results. If the increase in the cost of double-row repair was less than $287 for small or moderate tears and less than $352 for large or massive tears compared with the cost of single-row repair, then double-row repair would represent a cost-effective surgical alternative.


On the basis of currently available data, double-row rotator cuff repair is not cost-effective for any size rotator cuff tears. However, variability in the values for costs and probability of retear can have a profound effect on the results of the model and may create an environment in which double-row repair becomes the more cost-effective surgical option. The identification of the threshold values in this study may help surgeons to determine the most cost-effective treatment.

Level of Evidence: 

Economic and decision analysis Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Figures in this Article
    Sign In to Your Personal ProfileSign In To Access Full Content
    Not a Subscriber?
    Get online access for 30 days for $35
    New to JBJS?
    Sign up for a full subscription to both the print and online editions
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities, to comment on public articles, or to sign up for alerts.
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities
    Have a subscription to the print edition?
    Current subscribers to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in either the print or quarterly DVD formats receive free online access to JBJS.org.
    Forgot your password?
    Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.

    Forgot your username or need assistance? Please contact customer service at subs@jbjs.org. If your access is provided
    by your institution, please contact you librarian or administrator for username and password information. Institutional
    administrators, to reset your institution's master username or password, please contact subs@jbjs.org


    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
    CME Activities Associated with This Article
    Submit a Comment
    Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
    Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discretion of JBJS editorial staff.

    * = Required Field
    (if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
    Example: John Doe

    Related Content
    The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
    JBJS Case Connector
    Topic Collections
    Related Audio and Videos
    PubMed Articles
    Clinical Trials
    Readers of This Also Read...
    JBJS Jobs
    CA - UCLA/OH Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
    OR - The Center - Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Care and Research
    VA - OrthoVirginia