Surgery Reverses Pseudoparalysis in Patients with Irreparable Rotator Cuff Tears

    Research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Specialty Day in San Diego shows arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction (SCR), a surgical approach to treat irreparable rotator cuff tears, may eliminate pseudoparalysis and significantly improve shoulder function.

    “Our data showed 26 of 27 (96.3%) patients with moderate pseudoparalysis and 14 of 15 (93.3%) with severe pseudoparalysis regained motion in their shoulder,” said lead author Teruhisa Mihata, MD, PhD, from Osaka Medical College in Takatsuki, Japan.

    “Overall, all patients showed improved shoulder function and stability after surgery.”

    A total of 90 patients eligible for the study were divided into 3 groups by level of pseudoparalysis prior to surgery – none, moderate, or severe – based on their extent of arm elevation. Patients underwent MRIs at 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery, as well as a series of physical tests to determine success.

    “Rotator cuff tears can result in pain and loss of function in the shoulder,” Dr. Mihata said. “Our latest research shows this surgical approach is an asset to helping these patients not only relieve pain, but also hopefully return to full shoulder motion and an active lifestyle.”

    Dr. Mihata and his team, including Professor Thay Q. Lee, from the Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory, VA Long Beach Healthcare System and University of California, Irvine, first introduced the SCR in 2007.


    Mihata T, Lee TQ, Hasegawa A, et al. Arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction eliminates pseudoparalysis in patients with irreparable rotator cuff tears. Presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Specialty Day, March 18, 2017, in San Diego, California.