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The burden of rotator cuff surgery in Italy: a nationwide registry study

  • Orthopaedic Surgery
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Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery Aims and scope Submit manuscript



This study aimed to estimate the yearly number of RC surgeries in Italy, a country with universal access to healthcare for its population, from 2001 to 2014, based on official information source as hospitalization records. A secondary aim was to explore geographical variation in equity in access to RC surgery between three macroregions of Italy (North, Center and South). A tertiary aim was to perform statistical projections of the number of RC procedure volumes and rates on the basis of data from 2001 to 2014. Finally, we aimed to perform a prediction of charges by 2025 to examine the economic impact of RC surgery.


The analysis of the National Hospital Discharge records (SDO) maintained at the Italian Ministry of Health, concerning the 14 years of our survey (2001 through 2014) was performed. These data are anonymous and include the patient’s age (in aggregate for class of age), sex, domicile, region of hospitalization, length of the hospitalization, and type of reimbursement (public or private).


During the 14-year study period, 390,001 RC repairs were performed in Italy, which represented an incidence of 62.1 RC procedures for every 100,000 Italian inhabitants over 25 years old. Approximately 65% of RC repair were performed annually in patients ages <65 years, thus affecting the working population. 246,810 patients (63.3%) from the North underwent RC repairs from 2001 through 2014, 78,540 patients (20.2%) from the Center, and 64,407 patients (16.5%) from the South. The projection model predicted substantial increases in the numbers of RC repairs.


This study confirms that the socioeconomic burden of RC surgery is growing and heavily affecting the working population. According to the prediction model, hospital costs sustained by the national health care system for RC procedures are expected to be over 1 billion euros by 2025.

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We thank the Direzione Generale della Programmazione Sanitaria—Banca Dati SDO of the Italian Ministry of Health for the support in providing data for this research.

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Correspondence to Umile Giuseppe Longo.

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Longo, U.G., Salvatore, G., Rizzello, G. et al. The burden of rotator cuff surgery in Italy: a nationwide registry study. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 137, 217–224 (2017).

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