Rotator Cuff Injuries Follow-up

Updated: Feb 12, 2016
  • Author: Eileen C Quintana, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

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  • For patients with rotator cuff injury, arrange outpatient follow-up care within 1-2 days to an orthopedic surgeon and rehabilitation services to continue conservative therapy.

  • A follow-up reassessment examination 6 weeks after beginning conservative therapy is essential to determine if treatment is successful or if further surgical treatment is needed.

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Further Inpatient Care

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  • Admit to orthopedic service in preparation for the operating room (only required if surgery is the treatment of choice).

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Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

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  • All NSAIDs are equally effective.

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Deterrence/Prevention

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  • Instruct patient to limit activities to ensure rest of the affected shoulder.

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Complications

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  • Failure of conservative treatment requires surgical intervention.

  • Decreased range of motion may occur.

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Prognosis

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  • An estimated 4% of cuff ruptures develop a cuff arthropathy. [8]

  • Various authors report the success rate of conservative treatment to be 33-90%, with longer recovery time required in older patients. [10]

  • Surgery results in better function regardless of the patient's age.

  • Based on the Western Ontario Rotator Cuff Index groupings, it appears that symptoms of pain are associated with emotions and lack of range of motion or stiffness with difficulty with daily activities. The symptom of "weakness” was associated with 2 very specific shoulder tasks: throwing hard and push-ups. [26]

  • In arthroscopic repair, massive and large tears tended to show a higher re-tearing when compared to medium tears. Repair showed improvement in functional outcomes when compared to preoperative findings. [27]

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Patient Education

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  • Refer patients to a physical therapist in conservative treatment and postoperatively.

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