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This article is the author's final published version in Clinics in Shoulder and Elbow, Volume 27, Issue 1, March 2024, Pages 26 - 31.

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Copyright © 2023 Korean Shoulder and Elbow Society


BACKGROUND: The coracoacromial ligament (CAL) is frequently observed to be damaged during arthroscopy and it is unclear how demographic, anatomic, and radiographic factors are related to CAL degeneration in full-thickness rotator cuff tears.

METHODS: A prospective study was conducted of patients at a single institution undergoing shoulder arthroscopy for first-time, full-thickness rotator cuff tears. We evaluated preoperative anteroposterior radiographs to obtain critical shoulder angle, glenoid inclination, acromial index, acromiohumeral distance, lateral acromial angle, and acromial morphology. We documented CAL quality, rotator cuff tear size and pattern during arthroscopy. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify predictive factors for encountering severe CAL fraying during arthroscopy.

RESULTS: Shoulders had mild CAL degeneration in 58.1% of cases, whereas severe CAL degeneration was present in 41.9% of shoulders. Patients with severe CAL attrition were significantly older (62.0 years vs. 58.0 years, P=0.042). Shoulders with severe CAL attrition had large rotator cuff tears in 54.1% of cases (P

CONCLUSIONS: While the clinical impact of CAL degeneration remains uncertain, increased severity of CAL degeneration is associated with older age, larger rotator cuff tear size, presence of infraspinatus tearing, and increased preoperative critical shoulder angle. Level of evidence: III.

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