March 26, 2015
1 min read

Smokers showed worse function, pain scores than non-smokers after rotator cuff tear

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LAS VEGAS — Compared with non-smokers, patients who sustain rotator cuff tears and smoke have clinically worse function and pain scores, according to data presented here.

Germanuel Landfair, MS, and colleagues analyzed 196 patients who had a full-thickness rotator cuff (RC) tear for 48 weeks and the group included smokers and non-smokers. They studied the ASES, Western Ontario Rotator Cuff (WORC) Index and VAS pain scores at 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 16 weeks, 32 weeks and 48 weeks post-injury. Predictors of surgical or nonsurgical intervention were determined through multivariate logistic regression analysis and t-tests and mixed effects regression models were used to determine the effects of smoking on outcome measures at baseline and post-surgery or physical therapy, respectively.

Smokers respectively comprised 22% and 12% of the surgical and physical therapy cohorts, though smoking was not determined to be a significant factor in the decision to assign patients to either method of treatment.

Smokers reported a statistically worse WORC (40.9) index, lower ASES scores (43.0), and worse VAS pain scores (59.5) than non-smokers (54.5, 59.9, and 42.9, respectively). This trend for smokers to be clinically worse than non-smokers appeared throughout the surgical and physical therapy cohorts at the final follow-up.

“[This] gives clinicians another chance to suggest smoking cessation,” Landfair said during his presentation. – by Christian Ingram


Landfair G, et al. Paper #364. Presented at: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting; March 24-28, 2015; Las Vegas.

Disclosure: Landfair reports no relevant financial disclosures.