Research ArticlesEarly Sling Discontinuation Following Rotator Cuff RepairKruse, Lisa M. MD; Falconer, Travis M. MBBS(Hons), FRACS(Orth); Dimmick, Simon J. FRACS; Balestro, Jean C. MD; Cunningham, Greg MD; Cass, Ben MD, FRACS; Young, Allan A. PhD, FRACSAuthor Information Sydney Shoulder Research Institute, Sydney, NSW, Australia The ethics committee at North Shore Private Hospital (protocol number: NSPHEC 2013-002) approved this study. Supported by Sydney Shoulder Research Institute—a nonprofit, tax deductible charity created to perform clinical shoulder research and supported financially by 2 surgeons involved in this study (B.C. and Y.A.A.), grateful patient donations and nondirected grants for research from industry sponsors. No patient or investigator was paid or profited by this study. The authors declare no conflict of interest. Reprints: Lisa M. Kruse, MD, Sydney Shoulder Research Institute, 156 Pacific Highway, Suite 201, St Leonards, Sydney, NSW 2065, Australia (e-mail: [email protected]). Techniques in Shoulder & Elbow Surgery: September 2018 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 106-110 doi: 10.1097/BTE.0000000000000144 Buy Metrics Abstract Following rotator cuff repair, patients typically are immobilized in a sling for 6 weeks with or without early motion. We hypothesize that early sling discontinuation at 2 weeks combined with rehabilitation protocol would not adversely affect clinical outcomes or tendon healing in small nonretracted rotator cuff tears following double-row repair. We prospectively evaluated 20 patients at 6 months postoperatively who underwent double-row rotator cuff repair for small nonretracted tears. Patients were immobilized in a sling for 2 weeks then allowed to remove the sling for daily activities below shoulder height. Formal rehabilitation started at 6 weeks. Patients were evaluated by physical examination, patient-rated outcomes (Constant-Morley Shoulder Scores, American Shoulder and Elbow Society score, Veterans Rand 36 General Health Survey), and magnetic resonance imaging. Average length of follow-up was 6 months. American Shoulder and Elbow Society scores increased an average of 32.2 points (P<0.001), normalized Constant scores increased on average 31.5 points (P<0.001), and Veterans Rand 36 General Health Survey physical scores improved on average 11.8 points (P<0.001). Healing rate on magnetic resonance imaging was 95%. Early sling discontinuation following double-row rotator cuff repair did not result in adverse effects on the repaired rotator cuff tendons, and may be an acceptable option for small nonretracted rotator cuff tears in properly selected patients with a high likelihood of healing. Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.