Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Renee Mabey


Rotator Cuff -- surgery


The purpose of this study was to determine the functional outcomes of patients who have undergone physical therapy treatment following rotator cuff surgical repair. Sixty-eight rotator cuff repairs performed between September 1995 and .Iuly 1999 at St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, North Dakota were reviewed retrospectively. Of the 59 patients with rotator cuff repairs who met the criteria for this study, there were 34 males (57.6% of the cases) and 25 females (42.4% of the cases) included in the study. The mean age of the patients was 64.3 years, ranging from 38 to 80 years, with a median age of 67 years.

Of the 59 rotator cuff repairs analyzed, 38 of the patients met the criteria categorized as favorable or unfavorable. Thirty patients were categorized as having favorable outcome results. These patients had the following distributions: 16 male, 14 female; 5 small tears, 9 medium tears, 14 large tears; 65.5 mean age; 50% dominant shoulder involved; mean 6.8 outpatient physical therapy visits. In comparison, the 8 patients who were categorized having unfavorable outcome results had the following characteristics: 6 male, 2 female; 2 small tears, 3 medium tears, 2 large tears; 63.4 mean age; 66.7% dominant shoulder involved; mean 8.0 outpatient physical therapy visits.

From the above encouraging results it can be surmised that surgical repair and rehabilitation of rotator cuff tears at this healthcare facility has produced very favorable clinical outcomes. The demographics of the patients in this study indicate that the mean age was older than the age of the general population. Over one-half of the patients treated had large rotator cuff tears. Other demographic characteristics of patient outcome profiles are included in this study. Physical therapy rehabilitation was beneficial in enabling patients to achieve favorable outcomes.