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J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2015 Jun;24(6):854-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2015.02.004. Epub 2015 Mar 29.

Compressive cryotherapy versus ice-a prospective, randomized study on postoperative pain in patients undergoing arthroscopic rotator cuff repair or subacromial decompression.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, CU Sports Medicine, Boulder, CO, USA. Electronic address: mjk8x@virginia.edu.
2
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, CU Sports Medicine, Boulder, CO, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of compressive cryotherapy (CC) vs. ice on postoperative pain in patients undergoing shoulder arthroscopy for rotator cuff repair or subacromial decompression. A commercial device was used for postoperative CC. A standard ice wrap (IW) was used for postoperative cryotherapy alone.

METHODS:

Patients scheduled for rotator cuff repair or subacromial decompression were consented and randomized to 1 of 2 groups; patients were randomized to use either CC or a standard IW for the first postoperative week. All patients were asked to complete a "diary" each day, which included visual analog scale scores based on average daily pain and worst daily pain as well as total pain medication usage. Pain medications were then converted to a morphine equivalent dosage.

RESULTS:

Forty-six patients completed the study and were available for analysis; 25 patients were randomized to CC and 21 patients were randomized to standard IW. No significant differences were found in average pain, worst pain, or morphine equivalent dosage on any day.

CONCLUSION:

There does not appear to be a significant benefit to use of CC over standard IW in patients undergoing shoulder arthroscopy for rotator cuff repair or subacromial decompression. Further study is needed to determine if CC devices are a cost-effective option for postoperative pain management in this population of patients.

KEYWORDS:

Compressive cryotherapy; cold compression; cryotherapy; morphine equivalent dosage; postoperative pain; rotator cuff repair; shoulder arthroscopy; subacromial decompression

PMID:
25825138
DOI:
10.1016/j.jse.2015.02.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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