Early Return to Work in Workers' Compensation Patients After Arthroscopic Full-Thickness Rotator Cuff Repair.

Summary of "Early Return to Work in Workers' Compensation Patients After Arthroscopic Full-Thickness Rotator Cuff Repair."

The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of patients to return to their preoperative work level and to identify functional prognostic factors in a group of Workers' Compensation (WC) patients after arthroscopic repair of full-thickness rotator cuff tears at a minimum follow-up of 1 year.
Seventy-eight consecutive WC patients underwent arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (ARCR) and were retrospectively reviewed. Potential predictors of occupational outcomes were recorded. The primary outcomes included work level at the time of discharge, time to maximum medical improvement (MMI), and failures requiring revision rotator cuff repair. Secondary outcomes including physical examination and subjective scoring scales were also recorded.
Overall, 88.5% of patients (n = 69) returned to their preoperative level of work at a mean time to MMI of 7.6 +/- 2.6 months. Of the WC patients, 55 (70.5%) were followed up for purposes of assessing shoulder function, with a mean follow-up of 33.6 +/- 13.9 months. The mean American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score at this time was 82.3 +/- 20.9, and the mean score on a visual analog scale was 1.7 +/- 2.3. An association was found between patients who underwent ARCR with open biceps tenodesis and delay in MMI (P = .01).
WC patients undergoing ARCR may expect a high likelihood of return to full duty at a mean time to MMI of 7.6 months. At the time of follow-up, patients reported good outcomes using validated scoring scales, but subjective outcomes remained inferior to non-WC patients based on historical controls. Alcohol use was the only prognostic factor to show a significant association with return to restricted-duty employment and repair failure. LEVEL OF
Level IV, therapeutic case series.


Section of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Arthroscopy : the journal of arthroscopic & related surgery : official publication of the Arthroscopy Association of North Ameri
ISSN: 1526-3231
Pages: 1027-1034


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