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The Long-Term Outcome of Recurrent Defects After Rotator Cuff Repair

Posted on: July 27th, 2016 by Our Team

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Several authors have reported persistent structural defects after open and arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs, with rates between 13% and 94%. However, despite the high frequency of recurrent defects, the clinical significance and long-term outcomes of patients with persistent rotator cuff tear remain poorly defined. A previous study from our institution reported persistent rotator cuff defects in 26% of patients undergoing mini-open or arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. However, in patients with a recurrent defect, follow-up examination revealed significantly less pain, better function, and better strength, as compared with their preoperative state. Furthermore, there was no difference in outcomes between patients with an intact rotator cuff and those with a recurrent defect, with the exception of forward elevation and external rotation strength. No patient in this group required further surgery. Nonetheless, there is concern regarding recurrence of symptoms owing to persistent structural defect with long-term follow-up.

The literature is sparse with studies regarding the long-term follow-up of patients who have known retears at an early follow-up period. This dearth in the research is probably in part due to the fact that many of these patients are asymptomatic and doing clinically well despite their retears and, as a result, are lost to follow-up. The clinical significance of determining how these patients do over the long term is important because it may encourage surgeons to surgically intervene at an earlier period if they knew that leaving these defects untreated would result in significant clinical deterioration. The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical and structural out- comes of patients with known recurrent rotator cuff defects at long-term follow-up.

Full Article: The Long-Term Outcome of Recurrent Defects After Rotator Cuff Repair


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