Exercise therapy for the conservative management of full thickness tears of the rotator cuff: a systematic review

R Ainsworth and J Lewis.

The purpose of this paper was to review the evidence for the effectiveness of exercise in the treatment of full-thickness (including massive and in-operable) tears of the rotator cuff (RC).  There is currently no consensus on the most effective management of such RC tears, outcomes of intervention are often poor and exercise is often recommended for this group despite a lack of evidence.  Ten studies met the criteria, none of which were RCTs.  Due to heterogeneity of outcome measures used it was not possible to combine results.  The conclusions drawn were based on a small number of studies with low scientific merit.  The authors concluded that there was some evidence to support the use of exercise with this patient group.  However there was a clear need for further research.

British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2007, 41, 200-210

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