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Clin Shoulder Elbow > Volume 19(3); 2016 > Article
Clinics in Shoulder and Elbow 2016;19(3):137-142.
DOI:    Published online September 30, 2016.
Is a Suction Drain Necessary in Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair?
Jin Young Park, Ju Hyun Sim, Jae Hyung Lee, Kyung Soo Oh, Seok Won Chung
1Center for Shoulder, Elbow and Sports Medicine, Neon Orthopaedic Clinic, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Received: 18 November 2015   • Revised: 21 December 2015   • Accepted: 24 December 2015
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of suction drain use following arthroscopic rotator cuff repair by comparing early pain score and range of motion (ROM) between groups with and without suction drains.
The study included 153 patients with rotator cuff tears who underwent arthroscopic repairs at our clinic from April 2014 to March 2015. Following surgery, a suction drain was used in 85 patients (group D) and not used in 68 patients (group ND). There was no statistical difference between the groups in terms of age, gender, or total operation time. The clinical outcome with regard to pain (assessed by pain scores and analgesic requests) and passive ROM was assessed preoperatively and postoperatively.
Immediate postoperative analgesic requirement was significantly higher in group D (p=0.001), although there was no difference in pain outcomes between the groups during the 3-month follow-up period. A statistically significant difference in passive ROM was observed at the postoperative 2- and 6-week follow-ups (p=0.036, 0.035, and 0.034 in forward elevation (FE), external rotation at the side (ER) and 90 ER at weeks 2, respectively; 0.045 and 0.009 in FE and ER at weeks 6, respectively); however no significant difference was observed at the end of 3 months. During the study period, no complication was reported in either group.
Use of suction drains after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair provided little benefit in terms of ROM or pain in the early postoperative period (up to 3 months).
Key Words: Shoulder; Arthroscopy; Rotator cuff tear; Suction drain; Range of motion


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