Purpose: To compare the outcome, recovery and surgical findings after shoulder arthroscopy of clinically defined traumatic and non-traumatic rotator cuff pathology in middle-aged patients. Methods: Of the patients who underwent rotator cuff surgery, 37 patients who reported a preceding shoulder injury related to their shoulder symptoms (traumatic group) were compared to a control group of 58 patients without a preceding injury (non-traumatic group), matched by age, body mass index and comorbidities. Data included demographic details, patient history, surgical findings, the Oxford Shoulder Score questionnaires and overall satisfaction from surgery. Results: The mean follow-up time was 33.2 ± 14.4 months. More concomitant pathologies were found in the study group. The proportion of large and massive supraspinatus tears was double in the study group (43%) compared to the control group (22%). The Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS) improved significantly after surgery in both groups (p < 0.001) with no differences between groups in OSS and overall satisfaction from surgery. Patients in the study group felt recovered at an average time of 6.1 ± 4.6 months from surgery, while patients in the control group felt recovered at 4.2 ± 2.6 months (p = 0.02). Patients who were operated at the first 6 months after the injury had better improvement in OSS than patients who were operated later. Conclusion: Surgical arthroscopy for rotator pathology of the shoulder in middle-aged patients improved pain and function regardless of a traumatic onset; however, earlier repair after trauma resulted in better outcome scores. Larger full-thickness tears and concomitant pathologies were more common after injury. Study design: Level III.
- Rotator cuff