Home E-Weekly March 18, 2014

How Durable are Rotator Cuff Revisions?

Published: March 17, 2014

Patients who undergo arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs a second time might not enjoy the same quality of outcomes that they did the first time around, say Australian researchers.

In a study presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's specialty day at the AAOS annual conference last week, they questioned the longevity of revisions on the shoulder surgery into question.

"According to our results, patients with revision arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery had gained short term (six months post operatively) functional and clinical improvements. However, these gains pretty much disappeared by two years following surgery," says Aminudin Mohamed Shamsudin, MD, of the Sydney-based Orthopaedic Research Institute.

Their study surveyed 310 first-time patients and 50 revision patients at 6 months and 2 years after surgery. While the mean age of the revision patients was slightly older than that of the first-time patients (63 versus 60 years), the first-time patients had, on average, suffered larger tears.

After 2 years the first-time patients reported less pain and better function than the revision patients. In addition, they showed a decreased likelihood of re-injury. These results demonstrated the importance not only of improving revision rotator cuff surgery's outcomes over the long term, but also educating patients toward realistic expectations in the near term.

David Bernard

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