Shoulder :: Poorer preoperative muscle quality negatively affects outcome of rotator cuff repair

Rotator cuff surgery typically leads to decreased shoulder pain and improved function.

A new study indicates the quality of muscle surrounding the rotator cuff may be a predictor of surgical outcome in patients who have cuff surgery.

Using both assessment scores and strength measurements, researchers found a strongly negative correlation between muscle quality and outcome results. Repair of the rotator cuff did not lead to improvement or reversal of the degeneration of the muscles, and a failed repair resulted in significantly more atrophy. The researchers concluded that rotator cuff repair should be performed before the cuff musculature deteriorates further in order to optimize outcomes.

“Our study suggests there may be a ‘point of no return’ at which time the muscles undergo irreversible change,” says lead author James N. Gladstone, MD, of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY. “A clearer understanding of these factors would allow for better preoperative counseling and decision-making as to the most appropriate treatment plan.”

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