Injury Prevention & Treatment

Older Athletes Return to Sports After Rotator Cuff Repair

Outcomes following the arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff tears in older athletes appears to be successful a majority of the time, according to research presented on July 11th 2015 at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Forty-nine patients were included in the study with a mean age of 73 years.

A release from the society quotes lead author, Peter Millett, MD, MSc, from the Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado, as saying, “Seventy-seven percent of our patients who had an arthroscopic repair of a full thickness rotator cuff tear, were able to return to their sport at a similar level of intensity.” s

The release notes that there were 33 men and 11 women involved in the study. All postoperative measures to evaluate progress demonstrated a significant amount of improvement than before surgery. Patients who simply modified their activities due to postoperative weakness were significantly less satisfied.

“The surgery we performed appears to be highly effective in reducing pain, improving function and returning our older athletes back to the activities they love,” said Millett. “Patients over 70 are typically not treated operatively for rotator cuff issues, but these results highlight that there might be significant reason to assess and treat a tear arthroscopically.”

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