Document Type : RESEARCH PAPER
Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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