Does Age Affect Surgically Repaired Rotator Cuffs?

OREF-funded study looks at pathophysiology of tendon-to-bone healing in older patients

Mark Crawford

As the number of aging, physically active Americans increases, so does the prevalence of surgeries for symptomatic rotator cuff tears. Approximately one quarter of U.S. adults will experience a rotator cuff tear at some point in their lives, with the incidence increasing to near 50 percent in adults older than age 70. As a result, nearly 300,000 rotator cuff surgeries are performed every year in the United States, with a combined cost to the healthcare system of about $3 billion annually. Unfortunately, rotator cuff repair surgery has a fairly high rate of recurrent tearing—from 20 percent up to 70 percent. This is especially true for older patients.

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