Technical Note
Arthroscopic Treatment of Shoulder Stiffness With Rotator Cuff Repair Yields Similar Outcomes to Isolated Rotator Cuff Repair rights and content
Under a Creative Commons license
open access


To compare patient-reported and surgical outcome measures in patients with and without secondary shoulder stiffness (SSS) undergoing rotator cuff repair (RCR).


Patients undergoing rotator cuff repair from 2014 to 2020 with complete patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) by the short-form 12 survey (SF-12) were retrospectively reviewed to identify if operative intervention for SSS was performed alongside the RCR. Those patients with operative intervention for SSS were propensity matched to a group without prior intervention for stiffness by age, sex, laterality, body mass index, diabetes mellitus status, and the presence of a thyroid disorder. The groups were compared by rotator cuff tear (RCT) size, surgical outcomes, further surgical intervention, rotator cuff retear rate, postoperative range of motion (ROM), and SF-12 results at 1 year after surgery. Delta values were calculated for component scores of the SF-12 and ROM values by subtracting the preoperative result from the postoperative result.


A total of 89 patients with SSS were compared to 156 patients in the control group at final analysis. The patients in the SSS group experienced a significant improvement in the delta mental health component score (MCS-12) of the SF-12 survey that was not seen in the control group (P = .005 to P = .539). Both groups experienced significant improvement by the delta physical health component score (PCS-12) of the SF-12 survey (SSS: 7.68; P < .001; control: 6.95; P < .001). The SSS group also experienced greater improvement of their forward flexion (25.8° vs 12.9°; P = .005) and external rotation (7.13° vs 1.65°; P = .031) ROM than the control group.


Operative intervention of SSS at the time of RCR has equivalent postoperative SF-12 survey outcome scores when compared to patients undergoing RCR without preoperative stiffness despite those patients having lower preoperative scores.

Level of Evidence

Level III retrospective comparative study.

Cited by (0)

The authors report no conflicts of interest in the authorship and publication of this article. Full ICMJE author disclosure forms are available for this article online, as supplementary material.