A brief analysis of the US National Library of Medicine (Pubmed) citations specific to ‘rotator cuff repair’ showed a 380% increase in citations from 2005-2015 compared to 1995-2005. This surge in attention to rotator cuff repair (RCR) surgery includes a significant number of papers focusing on rehabilitation and prognosis. The goal of RCR surgery is to restore the normal anatomy of the rotator cuff in order to reduce pain and restore function. Subsequently, the objective of the post-operative rehabilitation is to ensure the structural and functional success of surgery. Success, however, is based on numerous factors, including the symptom severity, tear size and retraction, fatty infiltration and muscle atrophy, failure of previous treatments, health status, and factors that affect outcome and healing. These factors constitute 432 possible combinations of factors, which the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons established in the appropriate use criteria for optimizing the management of full-thickness rotator cuff tears. While the intent of research regarding the treatment of rotator cuff tears is to critically evaluate the efficacy of possible treatment options, the exponential growth of emerging evidence can be daunting for a clinician to synthesize and interpret. Therefore, we aim to provide a synthesis of evidence regarding the prognostic factors leading to the structural and functional success of RCR surgery in this commentary. Secondarily, we aim to offer rehabilitation suggestions based on these prognostic factors.

Full Article: Prognosis Driven Rehabilitation After Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery