We compared the outcome of arthroscopic repair of the rotator cuff in 32 diabetic patients with the outcome in 32 non-diabetic patients matched for age, gender, size of tear and comorbidities. The Constant-Murley score improved from a mean of 49.2 (24 to 80) pre-operatively to 60.8 (34 to 95) post-operatively (p = 0.0006) in the diabetic patients, and from 46.4 (23 to 90) pre-operatively to 65.2 (25 to 100) post-operatively (p = 0.0003) in the non-diabetic patients at six months. This was significantly greater (p = 0.0002) in non-diabetic patients (18.8) than in diabetics (11.6). There was no significant change in the mean mental component of the Short-Form 12, but the mean physical component increased from 35 to 41 in non-diabetics (p = 0.0001), and from 37 to 39 (p = 0.15) in diabetics. These trends were observed at one year. Patients with diabetes showed improvement of pain and function following arthroscopic rotator cuff repair in the short term, but less than their non-diabetic counterparts.