J Korean Orthop Assoc.  2011 Feb;46(1):28-34. 10.4055/jkoa.2011.46.1.28.

Follow-up Results in Patient with the Progressive Fatty Degeneration of the Rotator Cuff

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jmchun@amc.seoul.kr
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul Now Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.


To evaluate the influence of progressive fatty degeneration of the rotator cuff (shown on MRI after rotator cuff repair) on the clinical outcome.
At one-year postoperatively, 25 patients with progressive fatty degeneration on MRI were evaluated using the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon Standardized Assessment Form (ASES) score and the Constant score.
Average ASES scores were 57.76+/-17.0 preoperatively, and had significantly increased to 84.8+/-11.9 at 1-year postoperatively, and to 92.7+/-7.7 at final follow up. Average Constant scores were 56.2+/-2 preoperatively, and had increased significantly to 78.2+/-11.7 at 1-year after surgery, and to 83.1+/-7.9 at final follow-up. All cases except 1 showed satisfactory results. Groups that showed re-tears, large tears or fatty degeneration on infraspinatus showed inferior results to those without these developments.
On average 37.4 months of follow-up, clinical outcomes had improved in 96% of patients with progressive fatty degeneration of the rotator cuff. Therefore, progressive fatty degeneration on MRI at 1 year after rotator cuff repair does not influence final clinical results.


rotator cuff tear; fatty degeneration; repair of rotator cuff
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