Rotary Cuff Repair not Necessary, Study says

March 2, 2011

A study confirmed that removal of symptomatic calcium deposits on the rotary cuff is an effective treatment in patients who have chronic shoulder pain

A study with a seven year follow-up confirmed that the arthroscopic removal of symptomatic calcium deposits on the rotary cuff is a safe and effective treatment in patients who have chronic shoulder pain incurable by non-operative methods.

Calcium deposits, according to an article published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine concerning the study, are located within the tendons of the rotator cuff and are not uncommon in adults. While they are usually asymptomatic, the occasional symptomatic case can result in chronic shoulder pain, and may not respond to non-operative attempts to relieve discomfort.

The abstract of the article discussed the particulars of the study, in which 54 of the 56 patients involved that had calcium deposits on the rotator cuff received arthroscopic removal of the deposits. The procedure was performed without rotator cuff repair.

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of rotator cuff repair in connection to the relief of chronic shoulder pain and functionality of the cuff overall.

After seven years, the patients were reevaluated. It was discovered that all patients had made significant recoveries since the operation, and had all returned to their normal daily lives with drastically decreased pain and increased functionality.

Only 3.7 percent of the patients in the study had developed rotator cuff tears after the surgery before the seven year follow-up.

The researchers concluded that, based on the results of this study, arthroscopic removal of the symptomatic calcium deposits from the rotary cuff in cases when non-operative measures are ineffective is a safe and efficient treatment.