Correlation of handgrip strength to postoperative outcomes in rotator cuff repair: A preliminary report

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Muscles, Ligaments and Tendons Journal


Background. Recovery of strength, range of motion and function are considered major determinants of success following rotator cuff repair. The strength of the distal limb measured as handgrip strength is a simple predictor of proximal muscle function. Moreover, grip strength is used to prognosticate outcomes in several conditions. This study investigated whether preoperative handgrip strength can be used as an indicator of outcomes in patients undergoing rotator cuff repair. Methods. A cross sectional study was performed on 21 patients (13 males and 8 females; mean age 55.14 ± 8.88 years) undergoing rotator cuff repair. Grip strength on the affected side was assessed preoperatively, and correlated with postoperative outcomes measured at fourth month follow up, which included isometric shoulder internal and external rotator strength, active Range of Motion (ROM) of the shoulder, pain assessed using the Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS), and a performance-based shoulder function test, consisting of three activities. Results. Handgrip strength did not correlate with shoulder strength, ROM and pain. However, there was a moderate correlation (p = 0.505, r = 0.020) between pre-operative grip strength and shoulder function. Conclusion. Handgrip strength did not correlate with any of the outcomes of rotator cuff repair. Although a relationship between grip strength and shoulder function was shown, the correlation was moderate, indicating that multiple factors could contribute to the outcomes in individuals undergoing rotator cuff repair.

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