Stiff Shoulder No Reason to Delay Rotator Cuff Surgery: Study

Stiff Shoulder No Reason to Delay Rotator Cuff Surgery: Study

Stiff Shoulder No Reason to Delay Rotator Cuff Surgery: Study

Adding special procedure during operation loosened joint, reduced risk of re-tears

SOURCE: American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, news release, March 28, 2015

SATURDAY, March 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- It may not be necessary to delay rotator cuff surgery in patients with shoulder stiffness, a new study suggests.

Researchers compared 170 people who had rotator cuff surgery with 25 people who underwent a glenohumeral joint capsule release procedure to relieve shoulder stiffness at the same time they had rotator cuff surgery.

Rotator cuff surgery is done to repair a torn tendon in the shoulder. A glenohumeral joint capsule release involves arthroscopic manipulation of a patient's shoulder while under anesthesia.

"Physicians may be inclined to postpone surgery on patients with shoulder stiffness, but our research suggests that may not be the best treatment approach," study author Jordan McGrath, of St. George Hospital in Sydney, Australia, said in a news release from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

In the study, both groups of patients had major improvements in their range of shoulder motion, function and pain after surgery. Two years after surgery, rotator cuff re-tears had occurred in 20 percent of patients who underwent just rotator cuff repair, but no re-tears occurred in the patients who had both procedures, the findings showed.

The study was scheduled for presentation Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in Las Vegas. Research presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about rotator cuff injuries.

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