High prevalence of persistent pain 6 months after arthroscopic subacromial decompression and/or acromioclavicular joint resection

SICOT J. 2019;5:21. doi: 10.1051/sicotj/2019021. Epub 2019 Jun 18.

Abstract

Purpose: The aims of this prospective study were to determine the prevalence of pain 6 months after arthroscopic subacromial decompression (ASD) and/or acromioclavicular joint resection (AC resection), to reveal causes of the pain, and to identify risk factors for persistent pain.

Methods: Preoperatively, patients were tested for their endogenous capacity to modulate pain and completed questionnaires concerning psychological vulnerability. Patients with pain 6 months after surgery were examined by an experienced orthopaedic surgeon to reveal any shoulder pathology responsible for the pain.

Results: Data from 101 patients were available for analysis 6 months after surgery. Thirty-six patients had persistent pain: 32 underwent examination by the surgeon who identified shoulder pathology in ten patients, but not in the remaining 22 in whom ongoing insurance case, unemployment, and a general tendency to worry were risk factors for persistent pain.

Conclusion: The prevalence of persistent pain 6 months after ASD and/or AC resection was 35.6% (95% CI 26.1-45.8%) and the proportion of patients with shoulder pathology was 9.9%. An association between ongoing insurance case, unemployment, general tendency to worry (t-STAI), and unexplained persistent pain 6 months after surgery was found.