Mayo Clinic Releases Results of Rotator Cuff Repair in Younger PatientsLong-term results of rotator cuff repair are the subject of this study. How well do patients 50 and younger do years after the repair? How many fail to get pain relief or improved motion? What are the risk factors for those who don't have a good result?
Thirty-six shoulder repairs were followed for at least 13 years. All had a full-thickness tear of the rotator cuff, the group of muscles and tendons around the shoulder. Types of tears (shape and size) and types of repairs were reviewed in this article.
An excellent result from the surgery was defined as a shoulder with no pain and good motion. Patients with a poor or unsatisfactory result had pain and loss of motion. The results of rotator cuff repair in these young patients were not good. More than half had a poor result. One out of every four patients had another surgery after the first one. Patients who had relief from pain didn't necessarily gain motion.
What are the risk factors for a poor result? The authors report that it's not the size of the tear, type of repair, gender of the patient, or whether the injury was work-related.
Pain and loss of motion and strength seem to be the biggest factors in patient satisfaction. The authors conclude that the main benefit of rotator cuff repair is long-term pain relief. Improved motion and strength may not occur. Rotator cuff repair in younger patients doesn't seem to have the same good results as in a more mixed-age or older age group.
John W. Sperling, MD, et al. Rotator Cuff Repair in Patients Fifty Years of Age and Younger. In Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. October 2004. Vol. 86-A. No. 10. Pp.2212-2215.
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