Background: The cuff tendon that is most prone to full-thickness rotator cuff tears is the supraspinatus (SSP). Arthroscopic SSP repair ensures good to satisfactory mid- to long-term clinical outcomes. However, the intense postoperative pain reduces rehabilitation compliance and is cause of patient dissatisfaction. Many natural compounds act by inhibiting inflammatory pathways in a similar way to anti-inflammatory drugs
Materials and methods: This was a prospective randomized trial designed to assess the analgesic effect of a dietary supplement (DS) containing Boswellia serrata and Curcuma longa in a population of subjects with full-thickness SSP tendon tear treated by arthroscopy. Three weeks before surgery, patients were randomized to receive Tendisulfur(®) (group T) or a placebo (group P) for 2 months. The primary outcome measure was subjective VAS pain. Secondary outcomes measures were Constant-Murley score simple shoulder test, and patient global assessment (PGA) scores. Patients were assessed immediately at baseline and subsequently at 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 24 weeks.
Results: Stratification of pain scores and subscores demonstrated significantly lower overall pain scores in group T versus group P at 1 week (p = 0.0477), and lower but not significantly different scores on week 2 (p = 0.0988); at subsequent time points, differences were not significant (p > 0.05). PGA scores were good in all subjects.
Conclusions: In conclusion, this study provides objective data on the effect of a DS containing natural substances, added to standard analgesics, on postoperative RC pain. DS alleviated short and partially mid-term pain, while long-term pain was unchanged. This limitation can probably be addressed by a dosage increase over the first 4 weeks and by extending treatment by 1 or 2 months.
Keywords: Arthroscopy; Co-analgesia; Dietary supplements; Supraspinatus pain.