A recent Australian study examined 1600 consecutive patients who underwent primary arthroscopic rotator cuff repair by a single surgeon. All patients had the integrity of the repaired rotator cuff tendons assessed by ultrasound six months after the surgery. The retear rate at the beginning of the study was found to be 18%. The retear rate decreased to 5% by the end of the study. Reductions in retear were associated with more passive rehabilitation, more attention to use of the post-operative abduction sling, and increased experience of the surgical team experience.
While this study doesn’t directly attribute changes in retear rates to changes in management, the results suggest that less aggressive rehabilitation, abduction sling use and increased experience of the surgeon decrease postoperative retear.
Source: Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, March 30, 2016