Previous studies suggest an existingassociation between massive rotator cuff tear (RCT) and peripheral neuropathy. However, the findings are often inconsistent. In the present prospective study we assessed the prevalence of peripheral neuropathy in patients with massive RCT. In addition, we evaluated the effect of surgical repair of this rupture on thetreatment outcomes of neuropathies.
In this study, 58 patients were evaluated with a massive RCT. All patients underwent arthroscopic repair using suture anchor groups. Before surgery, electromyography (EMG)/nerve conduction velocity(NCV)were performed to check for neuropathy.In addition, before and after the surgery, Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score was calculated for all patients and the pain intensity was measured using visual analogue scale (VAS). Patients were followed up for 6 months. In the final visit, EMG/NCV was reperformed for those patients with neuropathy.
A total of 8 patients with neuropathy were observed (13.5%), of which 5 cases were presented with suprascapular neuropathy, 2 cases of upper trunk neuropathy and 1 case of neuropathy. In the final visit examinations, all cases except one suprascapular neuropathy and an upper trunk neuropathy were recovered.
In the final visit, the average Quick DASH score was significantly reduced from 72.6 to 19.7 (p <0.001).Similarly, the severity of pain significantly decreased from 5.3 to 1/1 (p <0.001). In the final visit, the most important complaint of the patients was a limitation of motion in 11 patients (19%). Three patients also complained of pain, two of whom were those whose neuropathy had not improved.
Precise screening for neurological damage is recommended in all patients with extensive RCT.Moreover,electromyographic studies can be of benefit in suspected cases of neuropathy before repair of rotator cuff.
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