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Serial Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Determine the Progression of Neglected Recalcitrant Rotator Cuff Tears: A Retrospective Multicenter Study
Clinics in Shoulder and Elbow 2017;20:133-137
Published online September 30, 2017
© 2017 Korean Shoulder and Elbow Society.

Yon-Sik Yoo, Jin-Young Park1, Chang-Hyuk Choi2, Nam-Su Cho3, Chul-Hyun Cho4, Tae-Gang Lim5, Sang-Don Sim6, Tae-Yon Rhie7, Ho Won Lee8, Jong Ho Jung8, Yong-Beom Lee8

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, Hwaseong, 1Global Center for Shoulder, Elbow and Sports at Neon Orthopaedic Clinic, Seoul, 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu, 3Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, 4Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, 5Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nowon Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University, Seoul, 6Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Donga Hospital, Gwangju, 7Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nalgae Hospital, Seoul, 8Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Korea
Correspondence to: Yong-Beom Lee
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, 22 Gwanpyeong-ro 170beon-gil, Dongan-gu, Anyang 14068, Korea
Tel: +82-31-380-3770, Fax: +82-31-380-1814, E-mail: drleeyb@naver.com
Received February 7, 2017; Revised August 15, 2017; Accepted August 15, 2017.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: To determine the natural progression of conservatively treated rotator cuff tears, we evaluated changes in radiologic and clinical parameters in patients whose recalcitrant tears were neglected after conservative treatment.
Methods: A total of 73 patients with recalcitrant rotator cuff tears in spite of conservative treatment were included in this study. We measured changes in tear size and in the extent of fatty infiltration of the rotator cuff by comparing the initial and final follow-up magnetic resonance imagings (MRIs). To determine factors influencing the change in tear size, we collected the medical history of patients taken at the time of initial admission.
Results: The average follow-up period was 20.1 months, and the average increase in tear size across this period was 6.2 mm. In terms of steroid injection, we found that the increases in tear size of the steroid injection group (p=0.049) and of the sub-group that had received more than three steroid injections (p=0.010) were significantly greater than that of the non-steroid injection group.
Conclusions: We found that the increase in cuff tear size was on average 6.2 mm across the follow-up period, indicating that neglecting cuff tears may cause them to progress into more severe tears. We also observed that a history of steroid injection might be a possible risk factor for a worse prognosis of cuff tears. Therefore, we suggest that patients with rotator cuff tears and a history of steroid injection are recommended aggressive modes of treatment such as surgery.
Keywords : Rotator cuff injury; Steroid; Injection; Intra-articular