Does quality of life influence retear rate following arthroscopic rotator cuff repair?

Philip Zakko, Bastian Scheiderer, Knut Beitzel, Monica Shoji, Ariel Williams, Jessica DiVenere, Mark P. Cote, Augustus D. Mazzocca, Florian B. Imhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The primary objective was to assess whether a patient's early postoperative quality of life (QOL) correlates with the retear rate following single-tendon double-row rotator cuff repair.

METHODS: We performed a secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial of 58 patients who underwent single-tendon arthroscopic rotator cuff repair of full-thickness tears performed by a single surgeon. Patients were randomized to an early- or delayed-motion protocol. At 6 months, all patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging to assess whether the rotator cuffs were intact or retorn. QOL was assessed preoperatively and at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months postoperatively using the Western Ontario Rotator Cuff (WORC) index.

RESULTS: After 6 months of rehabilitation, 41 patients (71%) had intact rotator cuff repairs whereas 17 (29%) had full-thickness tears. Patients with torn rotator cuffs at 6 months postoperatively had significantly lower WORC scores at 6 weeks postoperatively (P = .041). Patients with greater improvements in QOL perioperatively (preoperative WORC score minus 6-week postoperative WORC score > 264.5) were more likely to have full-thickness tears by 6 months postoperatively. Compliant patients assigned to the delayed-motion protocol had a failure rate of 11% (2 of 19) compared with 38% (15 of 39) in the noncompliant and early-motion protocol patients (P < .01). Overall, patients who were noncompliant with the shoulder immobilizer were 8.2 times more likely to have a failed repair on magnetic resonance imaging (P = .01).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with better QOL shortly after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair were more likely to have retears by 6 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S124-S130
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Augustus D. Mazzocca is a consultant for Arthrex and receives research grants from Arthrex.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Board of Trustees


  • Level III
  • Retrospective Cohort Comparison
  • Rotator cuff
  • Treatment Study
  • Western Ontario Rotator Cuff (WORC) index
  • compliance
  • quality of life (QOL)
  • rehabilitation
  • retear
  • Recurrence
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Period
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries/diagnostic imaging
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Arthroscopy/methods
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Patient Compliance

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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