Rotator Cuff Tear Pain and Tear Size and Scapulohumeral Rhythm
Authors: Scibek, Jason S.; Carpenter, James E.; Hughes, Richard E.
Source: Journal of Athletic Training, 1 April 2009, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 148-159(12)
Abstract:Context: The body of knowledge concerning shoulder kinematics in patients with rotator cuff tears is increasing. However, the level of understanding regarding how pain and tear size affect these kinematic patterns is minimal.
Objective: To identify relationships between pain associated with a full-thickness rotator cuff tear, tear size, and scapulohumeral rhythm (SHR) and to determine whether pain and tear size serve as predictors of SHR.
Design: A test-retest design was used to quantify pain and SHR before and after a subacromial lidocaine injection. Correlation and multivariate analyses were used to identify relationships among pain, tear size, and SHR.
Setting: Orthopaedic biomechanics research laboratory.
Patients or Other Participants: Fifteen patients (age range, 40–75 years) with diagnosed full-thickness rotator cuff tears participated. They were experiencing pain at the time of testing.
Intervention(s): Shoulder kinematic data were collected with an electromagnetic tracking system before and after the patient received a lidocaine injection.
Main Outcome Measure(s): Pain was rated using a visual analog scale. Three-dimensional scapular kinematics and glenohumeral elevation were assessed. Scapular kinematics included anterior-posterior tilt, medial-lateral tilt, and upwarddownward rotation. A regression model was used to calculate SHR (scapular kinematics to glenohumeral elevation) for phases of humeral elevation and lowering.
Results: Linear relationships were identified between initial pain scores and SHR and between tear size and SHR, representing an increased reliance on scapular motion with increasing pain and tear size. Pain was identified as an independent predictor of SHR, whereas significant findings for the effect of tear size on SHR and the interaction between pain and tear size were limited.
Conclusions: We noted an increased reliance on scapular contributions to overall humeral elevation with increasing levels of pain and rotator cuff tear size. Pain associated with a rotator cuff tear serves as a primary contributor to the kinematic patterns exhibited in patients with rotator cuff tears.
Document Type: Research Article