However, patients are quite limited for a number of weeks after surgery, and their overall experience could potentially be improved with faster recovery, he says, noting that long-term physical therapy also has financial implications for healthcare systems.
Dr. Arun Ramappa, chief of sports medicine and shoulder surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, says early range of motion has been postulated to more rapidly normalize range of motion, reduce pain, and normalize function.
“However, there is concern that it will lead to increased retear or failure rates of rotator cuff repair,” he writes in an email to Reuters Health.
Immediate range of motion after rotator cuff repair is not essential for producing good postoperative outcomes, says Dr. Ramappa, who was not involved in the study.
“This study highlights the need to use different study designs in the future to answer a question that remain unanswered despite much good quality research performed to date,” says Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo.
The main features of future studies should include subgroup analysis, compliance monitoring, and a homogeneous method to assess healing, he says.
The corresponding author did not respond to requests for comments.
- Mazuquin BF, Wright AC, Russell S, et al. Effectiveness of early compared with conservative rehabilitation for patients having rotator cuff repair surgery: an overview of systematic reviews. Br J Sports Med. 2016 Dec 30. pii: bjsports-2016-095963. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-095963. [Epub ahead of print]