Rotator cuff repair may not negatively impact driving fitness

Rotator cuff repair may not negatively impact driving fitness

March 31, 2022

1 min read


Tegge A, et al. Paper 375. Presented at: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting. March 22-26, 2022; Chicago.

Apel reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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CHICAGO — Results presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting showed rotator cuff repair had no clinically significant negative impact on driving fitness.

Peter J. Apel, MD, and colleagues used an instrumented vehicle to obtain driving kinematics and behavioral data among 21 patients prior to rotator cuff repair and postoperatively at 2, 4, 6 and 12 weeks. Researchers evaluated parking, left and right turns, straightaways, yielding to oncoming traffic, highway merges, U-turns and traffic circles, as well as hand placement on the steering wheel, turn signal activation and use of overhead visor.

Peter J. Apel

Peter J. Apel

“We chose to look at this with a non-inferiority analysis to determine whether or not the patient’s driving fitness was non-inferior to the preoperative state,” Apel said in his presentation.

Results showed postoperative driving at 2 weeks was noninferior to preoperative driving on all kinematic metrics.

“What’s interesting is we noticed an adaptive behavior,” Apel said. “For example, for hand used, all of these patients drove with a sling, so if they had a left-sided rotator cuff tear, they used their left hand less. If they had a right-sided rotator cuff tear, they used their right hand less, and they also changed the position of where they put the hand on the steering wheel in order to maneuver.”

However, Apel noted patients perceived themselves as having a lower level of fitness earlier in their rehabilitation.

“[For] their overall perception of their driving performance, they thought they did worse at earlier time point, but our data showed otherwise,” Apel said.

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