Two 6-year follow-up studies of large and massive rotator cuff tears: comparison of outcome measures

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2000 Sep-Oct;9(5):373-81. doi: 10.1067/mse.2000.108389.


The purposes of this report are (1) to describe the development of a quality-of-life outcome measure for rotator cuff disease (RC-QOL) and a new simple test of rotator cuff function, the Functional Shoulder Elevation Test (FSET), and (2) to compare these with the SF-36 and the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Assessment (ASESA) in a cohort of 86 patients with surgically treated large and massive rotator cuff tears. The RC-QOL is a 34-item self-administered questionnaire that has demonstrated excellent reliability, face validity, and ability to discriminate between large and massive cuff tears; it has also confirmed the construct of higher correlations with the other shoulder outcome measures than with the SF-36. The FSET is a simple test of rotator cuff function that uses 5% body weight and measurement of pain and discomfort on a 100-point visual analog scale. It was highly correlated with the RC-QOL and ASESA and discriminated between large and massive cuff tears. The study achieved an 82% follow-up at an average of 3.5 years. Large cuff tears had statistically significantly improved outcome scores in comparison with massive cuff tears on these 3 outcome measures. The SF-36, however, was not able to discriminate between tear sizes. The RC-QOL and the FSET are recommended outcome measures for rotator cuff disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Rotator Cuff / physiopathology
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery*
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors