Rotator cuff tear is a very common and disabling condition that can be related to acute
trauma such as falling on the shoulder. A tear is associated with symptoms such as pain in
abduction, abduction weakness and night pain. Rotator cuff tear surgery is a well-established
form of treatment in acute rotator cuff tears, although beneficial results have been reported
for both conservative and surgical treatment of rotator cuff tears. Rotator cuff tear repair
surgery involves a considerable amount of re-ruptures, and it is possible that the repaired
tendon do not heal despite surgical repair. On the other hand rotator cuff tears are also
found in completely asymptomatic persons and the clinical significance of a rupture may be
generally lower than estimated. The above-mentioned factors, as well as recent research and
meta-analysis on the treatment of mainly degenerative rotator cuff tears indicate that there
is a limited evidence that surgery is not more effective in treating symptomatic rotator cuff
tear than conservative treatment alone. However, these previous research findings cannot be
applied directly to traumatic tears, although degeneration can be considered always to
contribute to the creation of a rotator cuff tear.
During few last decades, despite the lack of evidence on the superiority of one treatment
over another, the use of surgery to treat this disorder has been substantially increased.
Treatment expectations are found to be important in predicting patient related outcome
measures. In addition, surgery itself may produce a profound placebo effect. There are no
previous placebo-controlled trials on the topic of interest. In order to find out the true
efficacy of surgical treatment of acute, trauma related rotator cuff tears involving mainly
the supraspinatus tendon, the investigators have designed this multi-centre, randomized,
placebo-controlled efficacy trial.