PURPOSE: This study was designed to investigate the rate of incidence, location and the clinical value of the rotator cuff retear by analyzing MRI scans, which was taken after an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study included a total of 109 patients, who underwent a shoulder MRI scan after an average of 10.6 months later from the arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. We only defined the 'retear' when the Sugaya type IV and V was observed in the sagittal section of the MRI. The location of the retear was divided into the medial and lateral areas by the site, which was 1 cm medial to the anchor insertion. We investigated the incidence rate and the location of the retear, in terms of the age, sex, initial tear size and the suture method. Also, we compared the functional score of the retear group and the non-retear group, after an average of 13.9 months follow-up. RESULTS: There were 38 of the 109 patients that showed the rotator cuff retear. Of these patients, 25 were male patients, and 13 were female patients. Of the 38 patients with the rotator cuff retear, 21 patients were included in the <3 cm retear group, and 17 were included in the > or =3 cm retear group. At the end of the follow up period, all 109 patients showed a statistical significant improvement in the shoulder functional score. CONCLUSION: According to the follow up of the MRI scan, which was taken after the rotator cuff repair, the retear rate reached 34.9 %, and there were no significant differences on the age and the suture method. More rotator cuff retear occurred in male patients, and the initial tear size was positively correlated with the incidence rate of the rotator cuff retear. Also, the retear was more frequently observed at the medial side. That is because when the suture was performed, excessive tension was loaded on the medial side of the suture site.