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Arthroscopy. 2019 Mar;35(3):714-716. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2018.12.017.

Editorial Commentary: Steroid Injections Prior to Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair-Is It Time to Rethink a Conservative Treatment Paradigm?

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Medical University of South Carolina.


The standard of care for most rotator cuff conditions over the past half century or longer has been a trial of nonoperative treatment including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, physiotherapy, and steroid injections prior to surgery. There is compelling basic science data to suggest a negative effect of corticosteroids on tissue quality. Chronicity of the tear is a risk factor for unsuccessful repair, but other factors including use of tobacco products, repair technique, and postoperative management all have an impact. Evidence either in favor of or against use of steroid injections as a treatment option is limited or weak at best. Given advances in rotator cuff repair techniques and successful long-term outcomes, treating surgeons should be mindful of how injections might affect surgical outcomes owing to either delayed surgical intervention or a direct effect on tissue quality.

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