Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sunday, March 01, 2009 rotatorcuff, Community Member, asks

Q: I had rotator cuff surgery 4 wks ago; still have constant pain. How long does pain typically last?

My doctor says that his 3000+ rotator cuff surgical successes have not required pain medication prescriptions of Percocet more than 2 or 3 times per patient. I understand his reluctance regarding medication addiction issues, but I still have a lot of  constant pain.

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Answers (1)
3/ 2/09 11:11pm

Post surgical pain from a minor procedure like a rotator cuff repair or knee cartilage repair usually lasts 4-6 weeks. Management of post-surgical pain is improved with the use of Celebrex which has been proven to reduce the need for opioid medications (like Percocet) post-surgically. Additionally, physical therapy is very important to get the joint moving and stronger.


As this surgeon noted, most of the times a person with a good rotator cuff repair will have immediate pain relief from the surgery. So, another source of shoulder pain may be at play here like neck problems or a shoulder blade with impaired movement. If no such problem exists than surgical failure is possible, especially in those who smoke. Surgeon's may not admit or know of the failures, but they are out there. Before raising the white flag and declaring yourself a "surgical failure", find a really good physical therapist and let the dust settle a bit.


Dr. Christina Lasich, MD

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By rotatorcuff, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/02/14, First Published: 03/01/09