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Sports Health. 2015 Jul;7(4):326-34. doi: 10.1177/1941738115576729.

A Comparison of Rehabilitation Methods After Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair: A Systematic Review.

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1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Despite the significant attention directed toward optimizing arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, there has been less focus on rehabilitation after rotator cuff repair surgery.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the effect of different rehabilitation protocols on clinical outcomes by comparing early versus late mobilization approaches and continuous passive mobilization (CPM) versus manual therapy after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.

DATA SOURCES:

PubMed was searched for relevant articles using the keywords rotator cuff, rotator, cuff, tears, lacerations, and rehabilitation to identify articles published from January 1980 to March 2014.

STUDY SELECTION:

Inclusion criteria consisted of articles of level 1 or 2 evidence, written in the English language, and with reported outcomes for early versus late mobilization or rehabilitation with CPM versus manual therapy after primary arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. Exclusion criteria consisted of articles of level 3, 4, or 5 evidence, non-English language, and those with significantly different demographic variables between study groups. Included studies were evaluated with the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials criteria.

STUDY DESIGN:

Systematic review.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Level 2.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Level of evidence, study type, number of patients enrolled, number of patients at final follow-up, length of follow-up, age, sex, rotator cuff tear size, surgical technique, and concomitant operative procedures were extracted from included articles. Postoperative data included clinical outcome scores, visual analog score for pain, shoulder range of motion, strength, and rotator cuff retear rates.

RESULTS:

A total of 7 studies met all criteria and were included in the final analysis. Five studies compared early and late mobilization. Two studies compared CPM and manual therapy.

CONCLUSION:

In general, current data do not definitively demonstrate a significant difference between postoperative rotator cuff rehabilitation protocols that stress different timing of mobilization and use of CPM.

KEYWORDS:

arthroscopic; continuous passive mobilization; manual therapy; mobilization timing; rehabilitation; rotator cuff

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