Delaying rotator cuff surgery on patients with shoulder stiffness may not be necessary, according to research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day.

"Our study compared results for 170 patients who received rotator cuff surgery with 25 who underwent an additional glenohumeral joint capsule release procedure to relieve stiffness at the time of surgery," commented Jordan McGrath, lead author from St. George Hospital in Sydney, Australia. "Both groups reported significant improvements in range of motion, pain, and function after surgery."

A glenohumeral joint capsule release involves arthroscopically manipulating a patient's shoulder under anesthesia.

"Physicians may be inclined to postpone surgery on patients with shoulder stiffness," commented McGrath, "but our research suggests that may not be the best treatment approach."

The group receiving both procedures also saw no re-tear of the shoulder two years post-op, as compared to 20% of those who received just a rotator cuff repair.