Risk Factors for Loss of Active Shoulder Range of Motion in Massive Rotator Cuff Tears

Ryogo Furuhata, Noboru Matsumura, Satoshi Oki, Hiroo Kimura, Taku Suzuki, Takuji Iwamoto, Morio Matsumoto, Masaya Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Patients with massive rotator cuff tears often exhibit loss of active range of shoulder motion, which can interfere with activities of daily living. The risk factors for loss of motion remain largely unknown. Purpose: To clarify the predictive factors that affect the range of motion in chronic massive rotator cuff tears using multivariate analyses. Study Design: Case-control study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: The authors retrospectively reviewed 204 consecutive patients who were evaluated at their institution with chronic massive rotator cuff tears. In this study, the dependent variable was determined to be active anterior elevation limited to ≤90° or external rotation (ER) with the arm at the side limited to ≤0°. Explanatory variables included age; sex; affected side; duration of symptoms; smoking history; existence of diabetes, hypertension, or rheumatoid arthritis; involved tendons; presence of a 3-tendon tear; rupture of the long head of biceps tendon; superior migration of the humeral head; and cuff tear arthropathy. Baseline variables that were observed to be significant in the univariate analyses were included in multivariate models, which used logistic regression to identify independent predictors of loss of motion. Results: Overall, 73 patients (35.8%) exhibited limited anterior elevation, and 27 (13.2%) exhibited limited ER. Multivariate analyses showed that inferior subscapularis tear (odds ratio [OR], 14.66; 95% CI, 2.95-72.93; P =.001), smoking (OR, 4.13; 95% CI, 1.94-8.79; P <.001), superior migration of humeral head (OR, 3.92; 95% CI, 1.80-8.53; P =.001), and 3-tendon tear (OR, 3.29; 95% CI, 1.32-8.20; P =.011) were significantly associated with the loss of anterior elevation. Teres minor tear (OR, 73.37; 95% CI, 9.54-564.28; P <.001) and superior migration of the humeral head (OR, 3.55; 95% CI, 1.04-12.19; P =.044) were significantly associated with loss of ER. Conclusion: In the current study, a history of smoking, type of torn tendons, and superior migration of the humeral head were associated with loss of active shoulder motion. In particular, the status of inferior subscapularis or teres minor contributed to the onset of pseudoparalysis in massive rotator cuff tears.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 21


  • massive rotator cuff tear
  • pseudoparalysis
  • range of motion
  • shoulder
  • smoking
  • subscapularis
  • superior migration
  • teres minor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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