About Prolotherapy offers the following resources for those wanting to explore prolotherapy further...
Cost of Rotator Cuff Revision Surgery
Prolotherapy serves as an alternative to surgery. In many instances, surgery misses the origin of pain leading to a failed surgery. In the case of rotator cuff surgery, failure to cure the problem the first time around can lead to some serious costs. In fact, at the recent annual meeting of the Arthroscopy Association of North America, Dr. Laurence Higgins presented his findings on revision surgery for failed rotator cuff surgery.1 Bottom line, re-repair or re-revision of the rotator cuff after arthroscopic surgery is not cost effective. Let’s look a little closer at his findings.
Revision surgery complications
After reviewing multiple studies on rotator cuff revision and re-repair surgery, Higgins concluded that for a revision surgery to be cost-effective it must involve a primary rotator cuff repair only and cannot involve re-repair of any failure of the first arthroscopic surgery. When reviewing the literature, Higgins looked for surgery failure, infection, nerve injury and rates of stiffness. When evaluating the costs, he considered hospital costs, physical therapy visits, doctor appointments, and additional procedures for revisions or complications. He set a limit of $50,000 as a cost-effective procedure. Of particular shock was the actual costs of these surgeries:
- Rotator cuff repair: $7,000
- Revision rotator cuff repair: $58,000
- Failed rotator cuff repair with revisions: $117,000
- Rotator cuff repair with complication and early surgery intervention: $20,000
Prolotherapy as an alternative to rotator cuff surgery
When presented with surgery as an option for shoulder pain or a rotator cuff repair, many patients are ignorant to the costs – in finances, time and energy – that are involved. For the patient with a partial rotator cuff tear, Prolotherapy is an excellent and cost-effective alternative to rotator cuff surgery. In many cases, the use of an MRI in diagnosing a rotator cuff repair is inaccurate and can lead to unnecessary surgery. In the case of a failed rotator cuff surgery, Prolotherapy can serve as an alternative to revision surgery. We’ve written a lot on this topic and we encourage you to do some further reading:
- Prolotherapy for a Rotator Cuff Tear
- MRIs are Overused and Inaccurate
- Rotator Cuffs, Shoulder Pain, and Surgery
- Failed Rotator Cuff Surgery: Can Prolotherapy Help?
For further questions on Prolotherapy as an alternative to rotator cuff surgery, or for failed rotator cuff surgery, please contact us.
1. Higgins L. Paper #SS-28. Presented at: Arthroscopy Association of North America Annual Meeting; April 25-27, 2013; San Antonio