Author(s): Duckworth DG, Smith KL, Campbell B, Matsen FA rd
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Abstract The goal of this investigation was to document the variability in the clinical expression of full-thickness rotator cuff tears with practical and standardized patient self-assessment tools. One-hundred twenty-three consecutive patients with full-thickness cuff tears diagnosed by standard cuff-imaging methods (sonography, arthrography, or magnetic resonance imagery) assessed their own shoulder function and health status with the Simple Shoulder Test and the Short Form 36, respectively. As a group, these patients were substantially compromised in their ability to perform the functions of the Simple Shoulder Test and in the Short Form 36 scales of physical role, physical function, and comfort. As individuals, however, their self-assessments varied widely. The standard deviations were often greater than 50\% of the mean and the range of responses often covered the entire scale from the minimum possible score to the maximum possible score. These results show the importance of documenting the clinical expression of cuff tears in patients at initial evaluation and when treatment is being considered. The results also show the practicality of standardized self-assessment questionnaires in such documentation.
This article was published in J Shoulder Elbow Surg
and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering