Does immobilization position after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair impact work quality or comfort?
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The purpose of this study was to quantify subjective discomfort and decrease in working performance in patients submitted to arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.
We enrolled 101 asymptomatic administrative employees (mean age 55). Subjects were asked to write a text using Microsoft Word and to make a table using Microsoft Excel, with and without shoulder braces which kept the right shoulder in neutral (brace A) and internal rotation (brace B). Total time needed to complete the tests and number of mistakes committed were annotated. Furthermore, a questionnaire to assess the subjective and interpersonal discomfort caused by the braces was compiled. Data were submitted to statistical analysis.
When any brace is worn, both times and mistakes are higher than those registered without brace (p < 0.02). Both times and mistakes are higher for brace B in comparison with brace A (p < 0.02). Subjects wearing brace B had a severe/very severe discomfort degree three times higher than that registered in subjects wearing brace A. Finally, 91 % of subjects preferred brace A to brace B.
If the choice of the brace is not supported by biological or clinical advantages, we recommend to use the brace that keeps the arm at the side, since it ensures better working performance and lower discomfort. It also received the greatest satisfaction of the respondents.
Level of evidence