Seventy-two full thickness rotator cuff tears (72 patients) were treated with an open rotator cuff repair between 1986 and 1993. The average postoperative followup was 54 months (range, 24–102 months; standard deviation, 22 months). Fifty-three (74%) patients had no pain, 16 (22%) patients had slight pain without restriction of activities, and three (4%) patients had moderate pain with activity compromise. Women with an associated biceps tendon rupture tended to have worse results. Women had a negative, statistically significant relationship between age and shoulder scoring scales, but age at the time of surgery was not related to any outcome variables for men. A rotator cuff tear greater than or equal to 5 cm2 as determined at the time of surgery was associated with a poorer outcome. The average University of California at Los Angeles score was 32 points (range, 7–35 points; standard deviation, 5 points). The average Constant-Murley score was 78 of 100 points (range, 12–95 points; standard deviation, 15 points). A yes response was given for an average of 10 of 12 questions on the Simple Shoulder Test (range, 0–12 questions; standard deviation, 3 questions). More than 4 years after open rotator cuff repair, patients had a 94% patient satisfaction rate with lasting relief of pain and improved function.
*Section of Sports Medicine
**Department of Neurosurgery, Rush Medical College, Rush-Presbyter-ian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL.