Arthroscopic Repair Benefits Reparable Rotator Cuff Tear Patients Aged 65 Years or Older With a History of Traumatic Events

Arthroscopy. 2023 May;39(5):1150-1158. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2022.12.022. Epub 2022 Dec 28.


Purpose: To evaluate the clinical outcomes of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair at 2-year follow-up in patients aged 65 years or older with a history of traumatic events divided into groups based on symptom duration (<3 months, 3-6 months, and >6 months from injury to surgery) and to compared patient-reported outcomes among the 3 groups.

Methods: Between 2015 and 2020, 110 patients who met the inclusion criteria were enrolled in this study; these patients were divided into 3 groups according to symptom duration: less than 3 months (group A), 3 to 6 months (group B) and more than 6 months (group C). Preoperative and 2-year postoperative clinical outcomes were compared, including American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, Constant-Murley, University of California, Los Angeles, Simple Shoulder Test, and visual analog scale scores; forward elevation; external rotation; and internal rotation. The minimal clinically important difference (MCID), patient acceptable symptom state, substantial clinical benefit, and maximum outcome improvement were also compared among the groups.

Results: The American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, as the primary outcome, improved significantly from 41.0 ± 18.5 to 85.4 ± 8.1 in group A, from 53.7 ± 14.3 to 86.3 ± 11.7 in group B, and from 49.7 ± 18.5 to 83.9 ± 11.9 in group C. All the other parameters showed statistically significant improvements at 2-year follow-up in each group (all P < .05). There was no significant difference in each parameter among the 3 groups except the visual analog scale score, which did not achieve the MCID. Overall, 86 patients (78.2%) exceeded the MCID, 87 patients (79.1%) achieved the patient acceptable symptom state, 77 patients (70.0%) achieved substantial clinical benefit, and 62 patients (56.4%) achieved maximum outcome improvement without significant differences among the 3 groups.

Conclusions: In rotator cuff tear patients aged 65 years or older with a history of traumatic events, arthroscopic rotator cuff repair significantly improves clinical outcomes at 2-year follow-up regardless of symptom duration if the tear is fully reparable.

Level of evidence: Level III, prognostic retrospective study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy
  • Humans
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries* / surgery
  • Shoulder Joint* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome