Irreparable massive rotator cuff tear (IMRCT) was one of the causes of shoulder dysfunction, despite technical improvement, the failure rate of IMRCT was still demonstrated to be high. Traditional treatments like non-surgical treatments, partial rotator cuff repair, and tendon transfers could only achieve a slight improvement. A potential cause for high failure rate was the fact that traditional treatments cannot restore the superior stability of glenohumeral joint, and thus restricted the movement of shoulder joint severely. Superior capsular reconstruction (SCR) using a variety of grafts (autograft, allograft, xenograft, or synthetic grafts) provided a promising option for IMRCT. In surgery, graft was fixed medially to superior glenoid and laterally to the footprint of humeral greater tuberosity. SCR could increase the stability of the superior glenohumeral joint, decrease the subacromial pressure and acromiohumeral distance. This review summarized the relevant literature regarding the alternative grafts, surgery indications, operative techniques and clinical outcomes of SCR. we compared the different grafts, key surgical steps, the advantages and disadvantages of different surgical methods to provide clinicians with new surgical insights into the treatments of IMRCT. In conclusion, IMRCT without severe glenohumeral arthritis was the best suitable indication for SCR. The clinical outcomes were positive in the short-term and middle-term following-up. More studies were necessary to determine long-term results of this surgical procedure.

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