New guides on rotator cuff tears in adults are available
Research Activities, January 2011, No. 365
The Effective Health Care Program of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently released new summary guides on Treatment Options for Rotator Cuff Tears: A Guide for Adults and Comparative Effectiveness of Interventions for Rotator Cuff Tears in Adults: A Guide for Clinicians. Tears to the shoulder's rotator cuff, which is composed of four muscle-tendon units, are common among older adults. Rotator cuff tears can cause significant pain and limit arm motion. Injuries to the rotator cuff are treatable, but it is unclear which treatment option—surgery or nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy or medication—is best, according to the comparative effectiveness report prepared by the AHRQ-funded University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center.
The research review from which the new guides were derived examined treatment and rehabilitative options for rotator cuff tears. It found that all treatments, either surgical or nonsurgical, result in improvement, but found little difference between interventions. The report did not find evidence indicating ideal timing of surgery. In addition, a continuing medical education (CME) activity and slide talk are also available.
Both guides, the CME activity, and slide talk are available on the Effective Health Care Program Web site.