Friday, November 28, 2014

Getting back to work after a cuff repair

Prospective evaluation of clinical and radiologic factors predicting return to activity within 6 months after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair

These authors evaluated 365 patients having arthroscopic cuff repair. 305 were able to return to work or spare-time activities by 6 months after surgery; 60 could not.

Female patients, patients performing heavy manual labor, and those with postoperative bursitis were less likely to return to work by 6 months. Lack of tendon healing was not a risk factor for failing to return to work. 

Comment: It would have been interesting to know the actual time for return to work after cuff repair in this series of patients rather than choosing 6 months as an arbitrary point of division. In any event, this article suggests that the time to return to work may be substantially longer that what was assumed in an article claiming that cuff repair can save society over three billion dollars per year which assumed an average time off work after cuff repair of 28 days.


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