Prognostic factors for the occurrence of post-operative shoulder stiffness after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: a systematic review


Background. Post-operative shoulder stiffness (POSS) is one of the most frequent complications after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (ARCR). Factors specifying clinical prediction models for the occurrence of POSS should rely on the literature and expert assessment. Our objective was to map prognostic factors for the occurrence of POSS in patients after an ARCR. Methods. Longitudinal studies of ARCR reporting prognostic factors for the occurrence of POSS with an endpoint of at least 6 months were included. We systematically searched Embase, Medline, and Scopus for articles published between January 1, 2014 and February 12, 2020 and screened cited and citing literature of eligible records and identified reviews. The risk of bias of included studies and the quality of evidence were assessed using the Quality in Prognosis Studies tool and an adapted Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations framework. A database was implemented to report the results of individual studies. The review was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42020199257). Results. Seven cohort studies including 23 257 patients were included after screening 5013 records. POSS prevalence ranged from 0.51 to 8.75% with an endpoint ranging from 6 to 24 months. Due to scarcity of data, no meta-analysis could be performed. Overall risk of bias and quality of evidence was deemed high and low or very low, respectively. Twenty-two potential prognostic factors were identified. Increased age and male sex emerged as protective factors against POSS. Additional factors were reported but do require further analyses to determine their prognostic value. Discussion. Available evidence pointed to male sex and increased age as probable protective factors against POSS after ARCR. To establish a reliable pre-specified set of factors for clinical prediction models, our review results require complementation with an expert’s opinion.

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders