Shoulder1.com: Great Information, Real Community, Better Living.
 Register
 Login
 Main Page
 Shoulder News
Feature Story
Shoulder Technology
Real Life Recoveries
 Education Center
Conditions
Procedures
 Shoulder  Hero™
Dr. Evan Flatow:
Innovating Shoulder Surgery
About Heroes
 Join the Discussion in  Our Forums
 Community
Shoulder1 Forums
Patient Stories
Shoulder Journals
 Reference
Ask an Expert
FAQ's
Locate a Doctor
Reference Library
Anatomy
Video Library
 Bookmark Us
 
advertisement
Search the Body1 Network
March 04, 2021  
SHOULDER NEWS: Feature Story

  • Print this Article
  • Email this Article
  • Links/Reprints
  • rotatorcufftreatment

    Rotator Cuff Injuries Treatable, But Evidence Is Unclear Whether Surgery Is Preferable


    July 06, 2010

    Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

    Injuries to the rotator cuff are treatable, but it is unclear which treatment option - surgery or nonsurgical treatments such as exercise or medication - is best, according to a new comparative effectiveness report published by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

    Tears to the shoulder's rotator cuff, which is composed of four muscle-tendon units, are common among older adults. Rotator cuff tears can cause significant pain and limited arm motion.

    The report, prepared for AHRQ by the University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center and published in Annals of Internal Medicine, examined treatment and rehabilitative options for rotator cuff tears. It found that all
    "Some doctors have maintained that earlier surgery results in less pain and better use of the shoulder, leading to an earlier return to work and decreased costs; so, patients often face the difficult decision of opting for surgery rather than waiting for nonoperative treatments to work. However, researchers found little evidence that earlier surgery benefits patients."
    treatments, either surgical or nonsurgical, result in improvement, but found few differences between interventions. It also did not find evidence indicating ideal timing of surgery.

    "Rotator cuff surgery is a viable option for many patients, but, as with any surgery, it is not for everybody," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "This report has good news: most interventions work, and each patient should talk to his or her doctor about which option to pursue."

    Most older patients who suffer a rotator cuff tear are first treated with up to 3 months of nonsurgical treatment such as pain and anti-inflammatory medications, exercise, and rest. If treatments other than surgery do not work, the rotator cuff may be repaired surgically, using a variety of methods ranging from minimally invasive techniques to an open operation. Patients can then undergo rehabilitation to restore their range of motion, muscle strength, and function following surgery.

    Rotator cuff tears also can occur in younger adults, usually as a result of traumatic injury. In such cases they are almost always treated with surgery.

    Some doctors have maintained that earlier surgery results in less pain and better use of the shoulder, leading to an earlier return to work and decreased costs; so, patients often face the difficult decision of opting for surgery rather than waiting for nonoperative treatments to work. However, researchers found little evidence that earlier surgery benefits patients.

    Comparative Effectiveness of Nonoperative and Operative Treatments for Rotator Cuff Tears is the newest comparative effectiveness report from the AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program. The Effective Health Care Program represents the leading federal effort to compare alternative treatments for health conditions and make the findings public, to help doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others work together with patients to choose the most effective treatments.

    In conjunction with the new report, AHRQ will soon publish plain-language summary guides about treating rotator cuff tears for patients, clinicians and policymakers. Summary guides on numerous clinical topics and other information and background on the Effective Health Care Program can be found here.

    Discuss in the Shoulder1 forums

    Photo: Art Siegel

    Last updated: 06-Jul-10

       
    Interact on Shoulder1

    Discuss this topic with others.
     
    Feature Archives

    Protein Appears to Protect Against Bone Loss in Arthritis

    Risk Factors Identified for Little League Shoulder

    Orthopedic outcomes affected by activity level

    Understanding the Full Impact of Treatments is Important for Patients with Rotator Cuff Injury

    Joint Replacement Surgery Could Become A Thing Of The Past With New Theory On Genesis Of Osteoarthritis

    Next 5 Features ...

    More Features ...
       
     
    Related Multimedia

    The Importance of the Shoulder - Interview with Dr. Andrews

    Interview with Dr. Andrews

    More Features ...
     
    Related Content
    Study Explores Heart Failure Options

    Healthy Diet = Healthy Joints

    Older Athletes: More Gain Less Pain

    GERD Hospitalizations Jump

    John Kerry Undergoes Shoulder Surgery

    More Features ...
     
    Home About Us Press Jobs Advertise With Us Contact Us
    advertisement
    © 2021 Body1 All rights reserved.
    Disclaimer: The information provided within this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for consultation with your physician or healthcare provider. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Owners and Sponsors of this site. By using this site you agree to indemnify, and hold the Owners and Sponsors harmless, from any disputes arising from content posted here-in.