A new study has revealed that day case rotator cuff repairs could be less risky than hospital stays after surgery. The results, published within the Arthroscopy journal, could prove useful to patients and surgeons in terms of recovery.
Here, we’ll look at the new study and its findings, alongside the common risks and complications associated with rotator cuff repair.
Understanding the study into rotator cuff repair recovery
The new study compared the rate of 90-day post-surgery complications between inpatients and outpatients who had undergone rotator cuff repair. It included 2,812 patients who underwent surgery between 2007 to 2015. Inpatients were considered those who stayed for one or more day in hospital. Outpatients on the other hand, were released the same day.
It discovered that within 90 days, inpatients had a greater incidence of complications than outpatients. In particular, inpatients had greater medical adverse effects, as well as surgical adverse effects. Other risk factors identified included anxiety and depression, alongside a greater Charlson comorbidity index score.
This isn’t the first study to reveal the potential complications from inpatient care. Hospital stays are considered to be riskier for a variety of reasons, including the increased risk of infection. So, evidence suggests the best course of treatment for rotator cuff repair patients is to undergo the procedure as a day case.
What are the risks and complications of rotator cuff repair?
Whether you undergo rotator cuff repair as an inpatient or outpatient case, there are risks and complications to be aware of. While most repairs see patients experience an increase in shoulder strength, as well as a reduction in pain, the following complications and risks can occur:
- Anaesthesia complications
- Damage to blood vessels and nerves
As with any type of surgery, there are risks associated with anaesthesia to consider. These include the risk of a blood clot, heart attack or stroke. However, these types of complications are rare.
Another rare complication is potential damage to the blood vessels and nerves. It is estimated around 1% to 2% of patients experience this complication. Even fewer patients experience an infection, with rates estimated to be 0.16 to 1.9%.
The most common complication is stiffness, with around 20% of patients experiencing the issue. However, if you do experience stiffness, generally it will go away by itself within six months.
What factors can impact rotator cuff repair recovery?
There are a number of things that can impact how well patients recover from rotator cuff surgery. The surgical approach used, the quality of tissue, the size of the tear and the rehabilitation method all make a difference to potential complication rates. During your consultation, your London Shoulder Specialist will discuss in full any potential complications.
Overall, the new research suggests patients recover much better and safer when they are treated as a day case. This, alongside a good understanding of the risks and complications, can help patients and surgeons determine the best course of treatment.