Abstract

Background: In a given year, more than four million people will seek out medical help for shoulder pain. Of those, more than a quarter million will receive surgical intervention for rotator cuff tears. The incidence of rotator cuff injury presents at 28% in patients over 60, 50% in those over 70, and 80% in those over 80. For most people over the age of 60, surgical repair does show good improvement in function with about 20% showing failure in the surgical repair.

Purpose: The focus of this project is to critically examine the available literature surrounding treatment options available for older adults with non-traumatic rotator cuff tear, taking into account the changes associated with advancing age as related to tissue factors and long-term outcomes. Analysis will be directed to answer the PICO question: In older adults, what are the outcomes of surgical intervention for non-traumatic rotator cuff tears compared to non-surgical intervention?

Case Description: Mrs. J was an administration worker who was seen at an outpatient physical therapy facility for a symptomatic shoulder after a diagnosis of a partial tear to her rotator cuff. She had undergone a previous repair for a full thickness tear of the same shoulder.

Discussion: In the review and analysis of current evidence on this topic, several factors are presented to indicate the appropriateness for surgery and the benefits of non-surgical methods for selected individuals. Younger, symptomatic individuals with smaller tears, and older individuals with full thickness tears show better long-term outcomes when treated with conservative interventions.

Language

English

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Level of Degree

Doctoral

First Advisor

Tiffany Enache, PT, DPT

Keywords

Non-traumatic, Rotator cuff tear, Conservative Treatment, Non-surgical, Exercise Therapy

COinS