What kinds of things lead to a successful rotator cuff repair?

Q: I have heard horror stories regarding failed rotator cuff repairs.  I am on the fence about going through with a repair.  What kinds of things lead to a successful repair and what can I do to make sure, if I do go through with it, that mine works?

A: The best outcomes of rotator cuff repairs come from a variety of factors.  Personal factors, like the location and extent of the repair, as well as the patient’s age and overall health play a big role in success rates.  Surgical technique choice and length of time spent in a sling following do not play as big of a role. What you can do to help make your repair successful is to follow the instructions of your surgeon and Physical Therapist, respect the healing times (wear your sling!), and have patience with your recovery.

Reference: Nathan A. Mall, M.D., et all. Current Concepts Review: Factors Affecting Rotator Cuff Healing. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. May 2014. Vol. 96A. Pp 778-784.

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