Shoulder Synovitis Does not Affect Pain After Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

Document Type : RESEARCH PAPER


1 Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

2 Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

3 Thomas Jefferson University Sydney Kimmel Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


Background: The goal of this study was to determine if there is an association between glenohumeral synovitis and
early post-operative pain after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.
Methods: Fifty patients with symptomatic rotator cuff tears were prospectively enrolled prior to RCR. Baseline ASES
score, VAS Pain score, forward elevation, and external rotation were recorded. Intra-operatively, synovitis was graded
on a scale of zero to six as based on a previously validated scoring system. VAS Pain scores were obtained from
patients post-operatively on days one through 14, week 6, and 3 months.
Results: Average intra-operative synovitis score was 2.4 ± 1.6. No significant correlation was found between synovitis
score and pre-operative forward elevation (P=0.171), external rotation (P=0.126), VAS Pain (P=0.623), or ASES
(P=0.187) scores. No significant correlation was found between synovitis score and post-operative VAS Pain level at
any time point. There was a moderate correlation between both pre-operative VAS Pain and ASES scores and postoperative
VAS Pain in the first post-operative week. Workers’ compensation patients had worse pain at 3 months postoperatively
compared to non-workers compensation patients (P=0.038).
Conclusion: This study reveals that macroscopically assessed glenohumeral synovitis does not have any significant
correlation with pre-operative or post-operative pain in patients undergoing arthroscopic rotator cuff repair; although
higher pre-operative pain levels, worse pre-operative ASES scores, and workers compensation status do influence
post-operative pain levels in arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.
Level of evidence: III


Main Subjects

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Volume 10, Issue 12
December 2022
Pages 1013-1019
  • Receive Date: 04 April 2022
  • Revise Date: 27 June 2022
  • Accept Date: 05 July 2022
  • First Publish Date: 14 November 2022