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Musculoskelet Surg. 2010 May;94 Suppl 1:S79-83. doi: 10.1007/s12306-010-0058-7.

Effects of one-month continuous passive motion after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: results at 1-year follow-up of a prospective randomized study.

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Orthopaedic and Traumatologic Unit, Regional Hospital F. Miulli, Bari, Italy.


The study included 100 patients who underwent an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. All patients suffered about a rotator cuff tear that was repaired arthroscopically with a suture anchor technique. Immediately postoperatively, patients were randomly allocated to one of two different postoperative physiotherapy regimens: passive self-assisted range of motion exercise (controls: 46 patients) versus passive self-assisted range of motion exercise associated with use of continuous passive motion (CPM) for a total of 2 h per day (experimental group: 54 patients), for 4 weeks. After this time, all the patients of both groups underwent the same physical therapy protocol. An independent examiner assessed the patients at 2.5, 6 and 12 months particularly about pain with the VAS scale (0-10) and the range of motion (ROM). Our findings show that postoperative treatment of an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair with passive self-assisted exercises associated with 2-h CPM a day provides a significant advantage in terms of ROM improvement and pain relief when compared to passive self-assisted exercise alone, at the short-term follow-up. No significant differences between the two groups were observed at 1 year postoperatively.

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