Article in the February 2017 issue of the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery demonstrates good results for surgical repair of large rotator cuff tears in patients over the age of 75

The article by Jung et al in the February 2017 issue of the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery entitled, “Rotator Cuff Surgery in Patients Older Than 75 Years With Large and Massive Tears” demonstrated good results in pain relief and shoulder function in older patients undergoing rotator cuff surgery. This finding contradicts a commonly held view in the medical establishment that older patients are not good candidates for rotator cuff surgery. What is more, not only were the patients in this study cohort older, but they suffered from the most severe forms of rotator cuff damage and despite their age and extensive tearing they still achieved success with a patient satisfaction rate of 80%.

With our patient population remaining more active well into their 70s and 80s, our view on the most appropriate methods to treat their rotator cuff problems needs to evolve. A decision to proceed to rotator cuff surgery should be individualized to patients based on their specific circumstances and not generalized based on their chronologic age.

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