Researchers say standard post-operative pain medications widely prescribed for rotator cuff surgery may actually delay healing .
The rotator cuff is composed of the muscles and tendons that surround the top of the upper arm bone and hold it to the shoulder joint. The research involved 180 rats that received acute rotator cuff repair surgery. One-third of the rats were treated with indomethacin (Indocin), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Another 60 rats were treated with celecoxib (Celebrex), which is in the newer class of FDA-approved anti-inflammatories called COX-2 inhibitors. The remaining 60 rats were used as a control.
It was found that the tendon-to-bone healing in the rats treated with the two drugs was "distinctly less robust" than in the control groups. Five tendons completely failed to heal to bone after four- and eight-week periods, yet no tendons in the control group failed to heal.Researchers say, their hypothesis involving tendon-to-bone healing is based on well-documented studies that have shown that although NSAIDs are effective pain relievers, they have also been shown to negatively affect fracture healing and spinal fusions, and may have adverse effects on ligament healing.
However researchers say that additional studies have to be done in this area.