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Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery

Is sarcopenia a risk factor for rotator cuff tears?

Published:November 03, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2020.10.001

      Background

      Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and consequent loss of muscle function with aging. Currently, it is considered an independent risk factor for falls and fractures, disability, postoperative complications, and mortality. Rotator cuff tears are known to be influenced by systemic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, thyroid disease, and osteoporosis. The aim of our study was to determine if there is a correlation between sarcopenia prevalence and rotator cuff tears.

      Methods

      This is a prospective case-control study. Between May 2017 and May 2018, 106 patients were evaluated and divided into 2 groups. Group 1 (cases) included 53 consecutive patients with chronic symptomatic full-thickness rotator cuff tears (mean age, 72 ± 5 years), and group 2 (controls) included 53 patients without rotator cuff tears (mean age, 71 ± 6 years). Sarcopenia was diagnosed with the presence of 2 of 3 criteria: low skeletal muscle mass, inadequate muscle strength, and inadequate physical performance. Rotator cuff integrity was evaluated with magnetic resonance imaging in all patients.

      Results

      No significant differences were found in baseline data and demographic factors between the groups, except for the smoking habit (P = .02). The prevalence of sarcopenia was not significantly different between the groups, nor were gait speed, grip strength, and skeletal muscle mass index (P = .15, .99, and .9, respectively).

      Conclusion

      The prevalence of sarcopenia in patients with rotator cuff tears was similar to an age- and sex-matched control population. Thus, with these results, we are not able to consider sarcopenia as an independent risk factor for rotator cuff tears.

      Level of evidence

      Keywords

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