The effect of concomitant glenohumeral joint capsule release during rotator cuff repair--a comparative study.


BACKGROUND There is debate as to whether to operate or to defer surgery on patients with concomitant rotator cuff tear and shoulder stiffness. The purpose of this study was therefore to compare the outcomes in those patients who had both their rotator cuff tear and shoulder stiffness treated with the outcomes of patients who had a rotator cuff repair but no stiffness. METHODS Twenty-five patients formed the stiffness group (receiving a concomitant rotator cuff repair and manipulation under anesthesia ± arthroscopic capsular release for preoperative ipsilateral stiffness), and a chronologically matched group of 170 rotator cuff repair-only patients formed the nonstiffness group. Patients ranked their pain and function scores preoperatively and at 1 week, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months, and 2 years postoperatively; examiners recorded range of motion, strength, and presence of impingement signs. Repair integrity was determined using ultrasound. RESULTS Patients from both groups had significantly improved clinical outcomes at the 2-year follow-up compared with preoperative values. Range of motion was similar between groups at 2 years for forward flexion, abduction, and external rotation, whereas the nonstiffness group had a superior range of internal rotation (P = .014). Stiffness patients had 0 of 25 (0%) retears at 2 years compared with 34 of 170 (20%) in the nonstiffness group (P = .009). CONCLUSIONS The good outcomes of rotator cuff repair with glenohumeral capsular release disproved our hypothesis and suggest that there is no advantage in delaying repair of a rotator cuff tear to allow stiffness to resolve and that stiffness confers an advantage in terms of repair integrity. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Level III; Retrospective Cohort Design; Treatment Study.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jse.2015.10.005

Cite this paper

@article{McGrath2016TheEO, title={The effect of concomitant glenohumeral joint capsule release during rotator cuff repair--a comparative study.}, author={Jordan P McGrath and Patrick Hong Lam and Martin T S Tan and George A. C. Murrell}, journal={Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery}, year={2016}, volume={25 5}, pages={714-22} }