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PURPOSE: (1) To systematically assess the clinical outcomes of arthroscopic rotator interval closure (RIC) procedures for shoulder instability and (2) to report the different technical descriptions and surgical indications for this procedure. METHODS: Two independent reviewers searched 4 databases (PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane) from database inception until October 15, 2017. The inclusion criteria were studies that reported outcomes of shoulder stabilization using arthroscopic RIC as an isolated or adjunctive surgical procedure. The methodologic quality of studies was assessed with the Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies tool and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation system for randomized controlled trials. RESULTS: Fifteen studies met our search criteria (524 patients). Of the studies, 12 were graded Level IV evidence; 2, Level III; and 1, Level II. Six different RIC technique descriptions were reported, with 2 studies not defining the details of the procedure. The most common method of RIC was arthroscopic plication of the superior glenohumeral ligament to the middle glenohumeral ligament (8 of 15 studies). The most commonly used patient-reported outcome measure was the Rowe score, with all studies reporting a minimum postoperative score of 80 points. The rate of return to preinjury level of sport ranged from 22% to 100%, and the postoperative redislocation rate ranged from 0% to 16%. CONCLUSIONS: The indications for RIC were poorly reported, and the surgical techniques were inconsistent. Although most studies reported positive clinical results, the heterogeneity of outcome measures limited our ability to make definitive statements about which types of rotator interval capsular closure are warranted for select subgroups undergoing arthroscopic shoulder stabilization. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, systematic review of Level II through IV studies.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





3098 - 3108.e1


Arthroscopy, Humans, Joint Instability, Ligaments, Articular, Rotator Cuff, Rotator Cuff Injuries, Shoulder Dislocation, Shoulder Joint, Treatment Outcome