Home based unsupervised rehabilitation protocol following rotator cuff repair has good outcomes: A prospective study

Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics | Vol 6 | Issue 2 |  July-Dec 2021 | page:12-15 | Rohan A Habbu

Author: Rohan A Habbu

[1] Department of Upper Limb Surgery, Prime Health Clinic Ground floor, Ram Janki Apts Subhash Road, Vile Parle East, Mumbai 400057, India

Address of Correspondence
Dr. Rohan A Habbu,
Department of Upper Limb Surgery, Prime Health Clinic Ground floor,
Ram Janki Apts Subhash Road, Vile Parle East, Mumbai 400057, India


Background: Rehabilitation after rotator cuff repair achieves good results but it involves time and costs. A simple home based program will reduce costs, time to travel and chance of exposure in a pandemic scenario. The objective of the study was to assess outcomes of home based rehabilitation protocol following rotator cuff repair.
Methods: This was a prospective study of 42 patients who underwent rotator cuff repair followed by an unsupervised home based rehabilitation protocol. The tears were identified using clinical examination and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The cuff repair was done with mini open incision technique. The patients were taught an exercise protocol, which they did by themselves at home. There was no daily supervision by the treating surgeon or a physiotherapist. The study measured pain scores, return to work, range of motion and failures at one year.
Results: Mean duration of followup was 14 months. Visual Analogue Score for pain improved from preoperative mean 7.5 to followup mean 1.3. Disability of the Arm, Hand and Shoulder score, measured in 26 patients improved from preoperative mean 33.2 to followup mean 4.5. Range of motion improved in 39 patients. Cuff strength was normal in 39 patients. 37 patients returned to full work by three months. There were three failures with one patient developing significant stiffness and two patients showing a retear. The retear was seen in patients with large retracted tears and the repair was done under tension.
Conclusion: Home based exercise protocol for postoperative rehabilitation in rotator cuff repairs can achieve good results in carefully selected patients. The study does not recommend this for large tears with difficult repairs. Since the patients are doing the postoperative rehabilitation at home, this reduces the costs, time lost in travel and exposure to external factors.
Keywords: Rotator cuff, mini open repair, unsupervised rehabilitation, motion


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How to Cite this article: Habbu RA. Home based unsupervised rehabilitation protocol following rotator
cuff repair has good outcomes: A prospective study. Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics July-Dec 2021;6(2):12-15.

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