Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery

Effect of cocktail therapy after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: a randomized, double-blind trial


      We investigated the effectiveness of cocktail therapy after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (ARCR).


      We evaluated 128 shoulders undergoing ARCR and used block randomization to divide patients into 2 groups in this double-blind trial: The cocktail group received 20 mL of 0.75% ropivacaine, 5 mg of morphine, 0.3 mg of epinephrine, 2 mg of betamethasone, and saline solution to a total of 42 mL, whereas the control group received 20 mL of 0.75% ropivacaine and saline solution to a total of 42 mL. Postoperatively, one of the drug mixtures was injected into the glenohumeral joint, subacromial bursa, suprascapular nerve, and anterior, middle, and posterior parts of the deltoid muscle according to the treatment group. We recorded patients’ visual analog scale scores preoperatively and at 4, 8, 16, 24, and 48 hours postoperatively; the number of patients using postoperative diclofenac suppositories and buprenorphine hydrochloride; the number of patients experiencing nausea; the number of patients with infection and delayed wound healing as adverse effects; the surgery time; the retear rate; and passive shoulder range of motion.


      The cocktail group constituted 64 shoulders (50.0%), with 39 men (60.9%) and 25 women (39.1%); the mean age was 64.2 ± 10.2 years. The control group constituted 64 shoulders (50.0%), with 41 men (64.1%) and 23 women (35.9%); the mean age was 65.2 ± 7.5 years. We found no significant difference in age or sex between the 2 groups. There was also no significant difference in rotator cuff tear size or surgery time between the 2 groups. The visual analog scale scores at 8, 16, and 24 hours postoperatively were significantly lower in the cocktail group. The number of patients using suppositories was also significantly lower in the cocktail group. The number of patients receiving buprenorphine injections tended to be lower in the cocktail group, but the difference was not significant. Nausea occurred in 6.3% of patients in the cocktail group and 15.6% in the control group, but the difference was not significant. No infection or delayed wound healing occurred in either group. There was no significant difference in the retear rate between the 2 groups. Passive anterior elevation at 3 months postoperatively was significantly better in the cocktail group than in the control group.


      We compared cocktail therapy and ropivacaine after ARCR and found no difference in results except for VAS score at 8, 16, and 24 hours postoperatively and frequency of postoperative suppository use without an apparent risk of infection or a detrimental effect on tendon healing.


      Level of evidence

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