Association between type of rotator cuff tear and functional outcomes in patients with massive and irreparable rotator cuff tear: A pre-post intervention study

Felipe Araya-Quintanilla, Héctor Gutiérrez-Espinoza, Gonzalo Gana-Hervias, Iván Cavero-Redondo, Celia Álvarez-Bueno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to analyze: (1) the differences in the pre-post change in functional outcomes after a physical therapy program by the type of massive and irreparable rotator cuff tear (MIRCT) controlling for potential confounders, and (2) the influence of lifestyle behaviors and demographic and tear tendon characteristics on function in patients over 60 years of age with conservatively treated MIRCT. Materials and methods: In this pre-post intervention study, 92 patients were prospectively recruited at the Clinical Hospital San Borja Arriaran, with atraumatic MIRCT, between 60 and 75 years of age (mean: 67.9 ± 4.5 years), and the mean of length of symptoms was 16.5 months (±5.7 months). Patients received a physical therapy program consisting of manual therapy and a specific exercise program of 2 sessions per week for 12 weeks. The imaging findings were performed by 2 medical radiologists who classified the rotator cuff tear according to the criteria proposed by Collins. Shoulder function, upper limb function, and pain intensity were assessed with the Constant-Murley; Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand; and visual analog scale (VAS), respectively. Analysis of covariance models were estimated to assess differences in MIRCT categories between functional outcomes. Multiple regression model analysis was used for the association between the change in functional outcomes and lifestyle behaviors, and demographic and tear tendon characteristics. Results: The results showed no pre-post change in functional outcomes by type of MIRCT in all models (P >.05). There is an association between length of symptoms (P =.000), and the baseline values of the 3 functional measures (P =.000) are associated with changes in Constant-Murley; Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand; and VAS. In addition, changes in VAS are associated with body mass index (BMI) (P =.000), and changes in Constant-Murley are associated with gender (P =.023), BMI (P =.000), and tobacco consumption (P =.000). Conclusion: There is no difference in functional outcomes by type of MIRCT after a physical therapy program controlling for potential confounders. In addition, there is an association of length of symptoms with all functional outcomes, an association of BMI with VAS and Constant-Murley questionnaire, and an association between tobacco consumption and Constant-Murley questionnaire. Our results could influence the orthopedic surgeon's decisions; thus, not predicting the functional outcome through imaging findings could lead clinicians to reconsider the need for surgery in the treatment algorithm in patients over 60 years with MIRCT. In addition, demographic characteristics and lifestyle behaviors might be considered within the patient's evaluation and follow-up to decide on surgical interventions and evaluate the clinical course of the disease. Further studies measuring additional variables and longer follow-up are needed to confirm these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1393-1401
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Volume30
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • atraumatic full thickness rotator cuff tear
  • Case Series
  • Level IV
  • lifestyle behaviors
  • massive rotator cuff tear
  • pain
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • shoulder function
  • Treatment Study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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