Shoulder Surgery Reduces Pain in Elderly

CHICAGO, Sept. 3 (UPI) — U.S. researchers suggest arthroscopic surgery may help reduce pain from torn shoulder muscles in the elderly.

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago suggest age should not prevent people from having this minimally invasive surgery, which they say can bring significant improvements.

The study published, online in advance of print in Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery, finds patients enjoyed increased motion and improved muscle strength after having the procedure. Ninety-six percent of patients had reduced pain and 94 percent say they were satisfied with the results.

“In people over the age of 70, pain is the main issue, and pain relief is a fairly reliable outcome after surgery,” Dr. Nikhil Verma, the study leader, said in a statement.

“Patients do not require that their shoulder function be fully restored. They just want the pain to be gone.”

Verma and colleagues tracked 39 patients age 70 and older for two years after having surgery to repair full-thickness tears in the rotator cuff after more conservative treatments had failed. Shoulder function was gauged versus people of similar age with healthy shoulders.

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