What Surgeons Say About Rotator Cuff Surgery
Orthopedic surgeons' treatment of rotator cuff tears (RCTs) varies across the United States. In today's modern medical world, why can't surgeons agree on how to treat this problem? The purpose of this study was to find out why surgeons vary in their thinking about RCTs.
Surgeons' opinions were gathered using a two-page survey. The survey was written and tested by a panel of doctors and researchers. There were surgeons from at least four different regions of the U.S.
Questions were asked about how often and what kind of rotator cuff repairs the surgeons did in the past year. They were asked to guess how many patients were unhappy with the results of the operation.
The surgeons were also asked to read four patient cases. They answered questions about how they might treat each one. Treatment choices included no surgery, cortisone injection, physical therapy, and different kinds of surgery.
The results showed a higher rate of surgery success for surgeons with a high volume of operations. Surgeons in practice the longest preferred the open cuff repair. Surgeons with less experience liked the mini-open or arthroscopic method. Geographic area of the country didn't seem to make a difference in the surgeons' answers.
The authors report that overall there was a lot of disagreement among the surgeons for most questions on the survey. There were many reasons suggested by the authors for the differences in opinions.
Warren R. Dunn, MD, MPH, et al. Variation in Orthopaedic Surgeons' Perceptions About the Indications for Rotator Cuff Surgery. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. September 2005. Vol. 87-A. No. 9. Pp. 1978-1984.
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