These authors compared 13 male patients, mean age 56 years covered by worker's compensation (WC) insurance having total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) to 36 men and 27 women, mean age 63 years without worker's compensation insurance at a minimum of 2 years of follow-up.
The American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) scores at final follow-up were significantly lower in the WC cohort (73.6) compared with the control group (86.6). Only 4 of the 13 WC patients returned to work.
Comment: While most surgeons recognize coverage by workman's compensation as a factor increasing the chance of a poor result, this study did not provide the reader with preoperative ASES scores, so the amount of improvement for the two groups cannot be compared. Furthermore this study did not attempt to determine whether it was the insurance, the patient age, or the patient sex that exerted the predominant effect on the outcome.
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