Porcine dermal collagen (Zimmer Patch, formerly known as Permacol; Tissue Science Laboratories plc, Aldershot, Hampshire, UK) has been used for reinforcement of several human body tissues with success and has been shown to act as a durable, permanent tissue scaffold that assists healing. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of porcine dermal collagen as a tendon augmentation graft in the repair of extensive rotator cuff tears. This prospective study evaluated the clinical, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging outcome 4.5 years (range, 3-5 years) after the treatment of extensive rotator cuff tears with porcine dermal collagen tendon augmentation grafting. The study group consisted of 10 patients (5 men, 5 women) with a mean age of 66 years (range, 46-80 years). Patients were evaluated clinically using the Constant score preoperatively, at 1 year, and at final follow-up when ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging scans were performed to assess for graft and rotator cuff integrity. Average Constant scores improved from 41 preoperatively to 62 at final follow-up (P = .0003). Pain, abduction power, and range of motion significantly improved after surgery (P < .05), and patient satisfaction levels were high. Imaging studies identified intact grafts in 8 patients and graft detachment in 2. No adverse side effects were reported during the study period. The use of porcine dermal collagen as an augmentation graft in the treatment of massive rotator cuff tears is safe and, in most patients, is associated with improved clinical outcome. Randomized trials are required to assess any benefit over standard current surgical treatment regimens. © 2008 Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Board of Trustees.
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