Ultrasound Imaging to Predict Shoulder Function after Rotator Cuff Repair


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is the purpose of this study?

A rotator cuff tear is a common and painful shoulder condition that is often treated with surgery, but it’s difficult to predict to what extent a patient’s shoulder function will be restored after surgery. This study will use advanced ultrasound imaging to assess the quality of patients’ rotator cuff muscles and tendons before surgery, and relate that information to the patients’ functional outcomes after surgery. The proposed research is relevant to public health because it will advance our understanding of the treatment of rotator cuff tears and will ultimately lead to improved patient care and lower medical costs.


How much time will participating in this study take?

If you decide to participate in this study, you will make 2 visits to the Henry Ford Hospital Motion Analysis Laboratory, which is located in Midtown Detroit at the Wayne State University Integrative Biosciences Center (6135 Woodward Ave). The first visit will occur before your scheduled surgery and the second visit will occur about 1 year after your surgery. Each testing session will take about 60 minutes. In addition, you will have an MRI of your shoulder during the second visit.


What data will you collect on me?

In addition to the ultrasound images, we will collect information regarding your shoulder pain (e.g. severity, duration), function, and physical activity. We will also perform strength testing to see how strong your shoulder is. We will also obtain a shoulder MRI 1 year after your rotator cuff surgery to monitor its healing.


Will I be paid to participate in this study?

Yes. You will be paid a total of $100 for participation in the study according to the following schedule:

Will I have to pay for parking?

Yes and no. When you visit the Motion Analysis Laboratory before and after surgery, your parking will be free. However, you will have to pay for parking when you get your post-surgical MRI at Henry Ford Hospital.

How is this ultrasound different than other ultrasounds?

The ultrasound we use is functionally no different than other ultrasounds you may have encountered in the clinic. The only difference is this ultrasound can measure the mechanical properties of your shoulder tissues by measuring the speed at which the sound waves move through your tissues. While we hope this research will lead to improved surgical outcomes for all patients in the future, it is currently not being utilized when preparing for surgeries.

Will I be exposed to radiation in this study?

No. Ultrasound uses sound to generate its images and as a result there is no radiation. Similarly with MRI, the images are generated using large magnets and not radiation.


Will participation in this study change how my surgery is performed?

No. Your surgery will be performed the same regardless of whether or not you participate in this study.


Will participation in this study change my recovery?

No. Your post-operative recovery will not be affected by participation in this study.


Will I be able to learn about the results of the study?

Yes! If you are interested in finding out what we learned from this study, you can sign up to receive a lay language summary which we will share after the conclusion of the study. You can also sign up for the Bone and Joint Center’s quarterly newsletter to learn more about ongoing studies and our research findings.

Who is funding this study?

This study is funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Therefore, this study is funded by taxpayers through the federal government.

Do the researchers involved in the study receive any financial incentives for conducting the study?

No. The researchers and study staff do not receive financial incentives for conducting the research.