Patients with Irreparable Rotator Cuff Tears May Have Surgical Option, New Research Shows

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The arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction (SCR) surgical technique can offer patients with irreparable rotator cuff repairs the opportunity to return to sports and jobs that require heavy physical work, as presented in research today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Our research shows promise that this surgical option can offer restored shoulder function for patients who enjoy sports and do heavy physical work. - Teruhis Mihata MD, PhD

The arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction (SCR) surgical technique can offer patients with irreparable rotator cuff repairs the opportunity to return to sports and jobs that require heavy physical work, as presented in research today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

“We studied 100 patients who did not improve after conservative treatment approaches, but then were treated with the arthroscopic SCR method our team developed,” noted lead research Teruhis Mihata MD, PhD, from Osaka Medical College in Osaka, Japan. “Our research found that this treatment method allowed all 26 patient athletes to return to their previous sports, and 32 patients with heavy workloads to return to their jobs.”

The study focused on measuring shoulder range of motion (ROM) before surgery, at 3-, 6-, and 12- months, and yearly after that. Average pre-operative patient scores were 35.7 points on the ASES system, and 52.8 on the JOA system, out of 100. At final follow-up, scores averaged 92.4 and 91.4 points, respectively. In the entire study group, shoulder active range of motion improved from 55.5 degrees for elevation, 15.4 degrees for external rotation, and by three vertebral bodies for internal rotation.

“Our research shows promise that this surgical option can offer restored shoulder function for patients who enjoy sports and do heavy physical work,” said Mihata, “after other treatment options have been unsuccessful.”

Surgical complications were limited in the patients studied.

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) is the premier global, sports medicine organization representing the interests of orthopaedic surgeons and other professionals who provide comprehensive health services for the care of athletes and active people of all ages and levels. We cultivate evidence-based knowledge, provide extensive educational programming, and promote emerging research that advances the science and practice of sports medicine. AOSSM is also a founding partner of the STOP Sports Injuries campaign to prevent overuse and traumatic injuries in kids.

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