Physical therapy and precision rehabilitation in shoulder rotator cuff disease

Int Orthop. 2020 May;44(5):893-903. doi: 10.1007/s00264-020-04511-2. Epub 2020 Mar 10.


Purpose: To describe the main features of the rehabilitation protocols for RC disease based on the phases of tendon healing and to investigate about the use of wearable devices as monitoring systems.

Methods: We performed a comprehensive search of PubMed, Medline, Cochrane, CINAHL, and EMBASE databases using various combination of the keywords "rotator cuff," "rotator cuff tear," "rehabilitation protocol," "accelerated," "conservative," "stiffness," "exercises," and "wearable devices." All articles concerning precision orthopaedic rehabilitation therapy in rotator cuff disease were retrieved.

Results: To date, rehabilitation protocols are not comparable due to wide heterogeneity of RC diseases. Wearable technologies are becoming a revolutionary tool for movement and posture monitoring.

Conclusion: Rehabilitation protocols for RC disease should be tailored on the basis of the different phases of tendon healing. Wearable devices hold the promise to offer a new outlook for long-term follow-up during the postoperative period providing information to the clinician about patient's status.

Keywords: Accelerated; Conservative; Exercises; Physical therapy; Physiotherapy; Rehabilitation protocol; Rotator cuff tear; Shoulder; Systematic review; Wearable devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy
  • Humans
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries* / surgery
  • Shoulder
  • Shoulder Joint*
  • Treatment Outcome