A recent study showed cortisone shots before surgery were associated with a greater incidence of repeat surgery in patients who had rotator cuff repair surgery.
“Cortisone” shots generally temporarily diminish pain. But it has been known for decades that cortisone products, such as methylprednisolonem, weaken tendons. It also is associated with infections which can be severe. Now a new study from the Medical University of South Carolina by Traven and associates has shown that cortisone shots in the six months prior to the surgery resulted in an increased re-operation rate in the three years after the surgery. I have avoided cortisone shots for rotator cuff injury for decades for exactly this reason. Cortisone has also been shown to increase the risk of infection after orthopaedic surgical procedures. I prefer not to inject at all, but in patients with unremitting pain a study from our foundation that is just being completed shows a very high rate of success, in the 85-90% range using platelet rich plasma injection for both partial and complete rotator cuff tears. We have performed over 2600 PRP injections for this technology without adverse events of any kind. Here is a link to our website where PRP and stem cell treatments are described.