Outcomes of Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repairs in Obese Patients

Authors: Joseph Abboud, Ouida Brown, William Warrender

References: Presented at ICSES 2010

Introduction: Rotator cuff tears are common orthopaedic injuries and their arthroscopic treatment can be technically challenging. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs in obese patients. We hypothesized that there would be a direct correlation between worse outcomes of arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs and increasing body mass index.

Methods: A retrospective review of patients undergoing arthroscopic rotator cuff repair by one orthopaedic surgeon between 2005 and 2008 was performed. 149 rotator cuff repairs were included in the study. Data that was recorded included age, sex, BMI, size of rotator cuff tear on MRI and intraoperatively, functional outcomes (ASES and PENN scores), surgery time, total time for anesthesia, positioning, and hospital stay. Tears were classified according to size. Strict inclusion and exclusion criteria were utilized. Surgical procedures were performed utilizing beach chair positioning, and a standardized operative technique. Patients followed a standard post-operative rehabilitation protocol.

Results: Mean patient age was 66 years. Mean follow-up 16.3 months. Tears were classified as high grade partial (12%), small (23%), medium (29%), large (22%) and massive (14%). Patients were classified as normal weight (38 %), overweight (23%), obese (20%), and morbidly obese (19%). We found a statistically significant correlation between obesity and worse functional outcomes, longer operative times, and longer length of hospital stay.

Conclusion: Obesity does have a negative impact on the operative time of arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs, length of hospitalization, and functional outcomes.

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