Rotator Cuff Surgery in Older Adults as an Effective Treatment Option
In order to diagnosis shoulder pain in elderly patients, a careful history and thorough physical examination are needed. If you come for a consult with Dr. Peter Millett, he will discuss the character of the pain to see if if it is present at rest or at night and to see if it is worsened with lifting and lowering the arm. He will also inquire about pain and weakness when rotating the arm, as well as the onset of your symptoms. Many of these symptoms are commonly associated with a rotator cuff tear. Xrays and and an MRI may also be used to help confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for a rotator cuff tear in senior athletes may begin with a non-surgical approach. Common treatment options include rest, activity modification, physical therapy exercises and ibuprofen or other NSAID medications.
If non-surgical options fail, or for very active patients, a surgical approach may be necessary. Dr. Millett is a leading shoulder surgeon, and he has done research in the outcomes of rotator cuff surgery in older adults. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is performed in most cases to re-attach the torn tendon to the head of the humerus. There are numerous surgical techniques that Dr. Millett has helped develop in order to optimize the result. The appropriate treatment will be determined based on patient age, activity level, location of tear and tear severity.
Positive Rotator Cuff Repair Outcomes
In a recent study (New Research from Dr. Millett on the Positive Effects of Rotator Cuff Surgery in Senior Athletes over 70), Dr. Peter Millett showed that arthroscopic rotator cuff repair provides recreational senior athletes over age 70 symptom relief and full shoulder function compared to preoperative values.
Moroever, surgical repair of the rotator cuff allowed 75% of patients to return to athletic activities following surgery, such as golf, tennis, skiing and biking. None of the patients were able to participate in these activities before the surgery. Senior athletes over the age of 70 years experienced decreased pain and improved overall function after the surgical repair. Dr. Millett states, “Patients don’t want to live with pain or disability anymore, and now we know that surgery can benefit them so they don’t have to.”
To discuss rotator cuff pain in the elderly population, or a rotator cuff tear in senior athletes, please contact the office of shoulder surgeon Dr. Peter Millett to discuss rotator cuff surgery in older patients, as well as rotator cuff repair outcomes.