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Co-analgesic therapy for arthroscopic supraspinatus tendon repair pain using a dietary supplement containing Boswellia serrata and Curcuma longa: a prospective randomized placebo-controlled study

Abstract

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.

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The authors are grateful to Word Designs (www.silviamodena.com) for the language revision.

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Merolla, G., Dellabiancia, F., Ingardia, A. et al. Co-analgesic therapy for arthroscopic supraspinatus tendon repair pain using a dietary supplement containing Boswellia serrata and Curcuma longa: a prospective randomized placebo-controlled study. Musculoskelet Surg 99, 43–52 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12306-015-0364-1

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Keywords

  • Supraspinatus pain
  • Arthroscopy
  • Co-analgesia
  • Dietary supplements