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Early and Delayed Postoperative Rehabilitation after Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair: A Comparative Study of Clinical Outcomes
Clin Should Elbow 2019;22:190-194
Published online December 1, 2019;  https://doi.org/10.5397/cise.2019.22.4.190
© 2019 Korean Shoulder and Elbow Society.

Sungwook Choi, Kyu Bum Seo, Seungjae Shim, Ju Yeon Shin, Hyunseong Kang

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Jeju National University School of Medicine, Jeju, Korea
Correspondence to: Hyunseong Kang
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Jeju National University School of Medicine, 15 Aran 13-gil, Jeju 63241, Korea
Tel: +82-64-717-1690, Fax: +82-64-717-1131, E-mail: oskanghs@gmail.com, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6764-9929
IRB approval: Jeju National University Hospital (No. JNUH2016-06-027).
Received September 3, 2019; Revised October 26, 2019; Accepted October 27, 2019.
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: The duration of immobilization after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and the optimal time to commence rehabilitation are still the subject of ongoing debates. This study was undertaken to evaluate the functional outcome and rotator cuff healing status after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair by comparing early and delayed rehabilitation.
Methods: Totally, 76 patients with small, medium, and large sized rotator cuff tears underwent arthroscopic repair using the suturebridge technique. In early rehabilitation group, 38 patients commenced passive range of motion at postoperative day 2 whereas 38 patients assigned to the delayed rehabilitation group commenced passive range of motion at postoperative week 3. At the end of the study period, clinical and functional evaluations (Constant score, the University of California, Los Angeles [UCLA] shoulder score) were carried out, subsequent to measuring the range of motion, visual analogue scale for pain, and isokinetic dynamometer test. Rotator cuff healing was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging at least 6 months after surgery.
Results: No significant difference was obtained in range of motion and visual analogue scale between both groups. Functional outcomes showed similar improvements in the Constant score (early: 67.0–88.0; delayed: 66.9–91.0; p<0.001) and the UCLA shoulder score (early: 20.3–32.3; delayed: 20.4–32.4; p<0.001). Furthermore, rotator cuff healing showed no significant differences between the groups (range, 6–15 months; average, 10.4 months).
Conclusions: Delayed passive rehabilitation does not bring about superior outcomes. Therefore, early rehabilitation would be useful to help patients resume their daily lives.
Keywords : Rotator cuff injuries; Arthroscopy; Rehabilitation; Shoulder