Older Athletes Able to Return to Sport After Rotator Cuff Repair

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Outcomes following the arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff tears in older athletes appears to be successful a majority of the time, according to research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

The surgery we performed appears to be highly effective in reducing pain, improving function and returning our older athletes back to the activities they love. - Peter Millett, MD

Outcomes following the arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff tears in older athletes appears to be successful a majority of the time, according to research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

“Seventy-seven percent of our patients who had an arthroscopic repair of a full thickness rotator cuff tear, were able to return to their sport at a similar level of intensity,” said lead author, Peter Millett, MD, MSc, from the Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado.

Forty-nine patients were included in the study with a mean age of 73 years. There were 33 men and 11 women involved. All postoperative measures to evaluate progress demonstrated a significant amount of improvement than before surgery. Patients who simply modified their activities due to postoperative weakness were significantly less satisfied.

“The surgery we performed appears to be highly effective in reducing pain, improving function and returning our older athletes back to the activities they love,” said Millett. “Patients over 70 are typically not treated operatively for rotator cuff issues, but these results highlight that there might be significant reason to assess and treat a tear arthroscopically.”

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The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) is a world leader in sports medicine education, research, communication and fellowship, and includes national and international orthopaedic sports medicine leaders. The Society works closely with many other sports medicine specialists, including athletic trainers, physical therapists, family physicians, and others to improve the identification, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports injuries. AOSSM is also a founding partner of the STOP Sports Injuries campaign to prevent overuse and traumatic injuries in kids.

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