Rehabilitation following rotator cuff repair: A survey of current practice (2020)

Chris Littlewood*, Bruno Mazuquin, Maria Moffatt, Marcus Bateman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Approaches to rehabilitation following rotator cuff repair are variable but typically include 4–6 weeks of immobilisation followed by a gradual introduction of movement and activity. However, research has questioned whether such an approach is optimal. The aim of this study was to undertake an updated survey to understand whether practice has evolved in line with contemporary research. Methods: An electronic survey was developed describing three case scenarios (medium-sized rotator cuff repair [2 cm], large-sized rotator cuff repair [4 cm] and large-sized rotator cuff repair with biceps tenodesis). Clinicians involved with rehabilitation following rotator cuff repair were invited to participate. Results: 129 responses were received (United Kingdom = 87, other regions [ORs] = 42). Respondents would most commonly recommend four to six weeks of immobilisation for all case scenarios. Passive movement would commence during this period, with active movement recommended from four to six weeks. Resisted exercise would commence between seven to 12 weeks along with return to driving. There were some minor differences in recommendations between respondents from the United Kingdom and ORs, including a greater proportion from the United Kingdom recommending sling immobilisation rather than abduction brace immobilisation. Conclusion: For many respondents to this survey, rehabilitation for the three case scenarios was similar and has not evolved in line with contemporary research evidence. The reasons behind this need to be explored and incorporated into the design of future research evaluating rehabilitation following rotator cuff repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
JournalMusculoskeletal Care
Issue number2
Early online date17 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021


  • physiotherapy
  • rehabilitation
  • rotator cuff repair
  • survey


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