WHERE THIS HAPPENED: Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
ABSTRACT Shoulder problems account for 2.4% of GP consultations in the United Kingdom and of those 70% are related to the rotator cuff. Many rotator cuff tears are of a degenerate nature but they can occur as a result of trauma in 8% of cases. Evidence suggests that patients with traumatic rotator cuff tears gain a better outcome in terms of pain and function if the tear is repaired early after injury.
144 patients were referred to the clinic in the first year: 62 with rotator cuff symptoms, 38 with GHJ instability, 13 with ACJ instability, and 33 others. 7 missed fractures were identified. 12 patients subsequently underwent rotator cuff repair surgery, 10 GHJ stabilisation, and 1 ACJ stabilisation. Mean referral time to first clinical assessment improved from 37 days to 8 days. For rotator cuff repair: mean referral to surgery time was 86 days compared with 115 days on the old pathway. 58% of patients underwent surgery within 90 days of injury compared with 20% previously.
Our new service resulted in surgical repair of traumatic rotator cuff tears 29 days faster than the traditional system with an extra 38% of patients having surgery within 90 days of injury - a benchmark thought to improve outcome. Future work will aim to improve this percentage further and include long term patient follow up of outcome measures after surgery
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