The Impact of Minimally Invasive Treatment for Rotator Cuff Calcific Tendinitis on Self-Reported Work Ability and Sick Leave

Jan K G Louwerens, P Paul F M Kuijer, Inger N Sierevelt, Michel P J van den Bekerom, Barend J van Royen, Denise Eygendaal, Arthur van Noort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: To examine the impact of rotator cuff calcific tendinitis on patients' self-reported work ability and sick leave, to compare work ability and sick leave with shoulder function after minimally invasive treatment, and to assess which prognostic factors influence the change in work ability.

Methods: A prospective cohort was analyzed in this study. The primary outcome measure was the single-question work ability score (0-10 points). Secondary outcome measures were quality and quantity of work, sick leave, functional outcome, and radiographic resorption. Potential predictive factors (treatment method, age, sex, resorption of the calcific deposit, physical work load, and work status) were tested in a statistical model. Follow-up was at 6 months and 1 year.

Results: The study cohort consisted of 67 patients. The mean age was 49.6 ± 6.4 years and 45 (67%) were female. Physical workload was categorized as light (58%), medium (24%), and heavy (18%). Work ability score improved from a mean of 6.1 ± 2.8 to 8.5 ± 2.0 points after 1 year. Treatment with minimally invasive treatment techniques was associated with a reduction in partial or full-time sick leave from 28% to 6%. The mean days of sick leave a month declined from 3.3 to 0.8 days. Functional disability was greater in patients with partial or full-time sick leave. The physical workload turned out to be the most important patient associated factor predicting change in work ability.

Conclusions: This study supports the hypothesis that rotator cuff calcific tendinitis has a significant impact on work ability and sick leave. Minimally invasive treatment resulted in a clinically relevant improvement in work ability score and decline in sick leave. In particular, patients with medium and high physically demanding work for the shoulder benefit from minimally invasive treatment to improve their work ability.

Level of Evidence: Level II, prospective comparative study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e821-e827
JournalArthroscopy, sports medicine, and rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2020

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