Shoulder function not fully restored after surgery: Study

Shoulder motion after rotator cuff surgery remains different when compared to the opposite shoulder.

Washington: A new study has revealed that shoulder motion after rotator cuff surgery remains significantly different when compared to the patient`s opposite shoulder.

In the Henry Ford Hospital study that updated prior findings, researchers used X-rays providing a 3D view of motion of the arm bone in relation to the shoulder blade, to compare motion in the shoulders of 22 patients who had arthroscopic surgical repair of tendon tears and no symptoms in their other shoulders.

Researchers analyzed the motion of both shoulders at three, 12 and 24 months after surgery, looking at changes in shoulder motion and shoulder strength.

"Although patient satisfaction is generally very high after surgical repair of a torn rotator cuff, the data suggest that long-term shoulder function-in particular, shoulder strength and dynamic joint stability-may not be fully restored in every patient," said Michael Bey of Henry Ford Hospital.

"We found that the motion pattern of the repaired shoulder is significantly different than the patient`s opposite shoulder. These differences in shoulder motion seem to persist over time in some patients," said Bey.

"What further complicates our understanding of rotator cuff tears is that we have also shown that there are subtle, yet important differences in shoulder function between the dominant and non-dominant shoulder of healthy volunteers. These clinical studies are aiding in our understanding of both the origin and treatment of rotator cuff tears," he added.

The results were presented at the Orthopaedic Research Society`s annual meeting in Long Beach.