HealthDay News — Perioperative acetaminophen significantly decreases opioid consumption and results in improved overall pain control following primary rotator cuff repair, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, held from August 31 to September 3 in San Diego.

Arjun Singh, from the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, and colleagues randomly assigned 57 patients undergoing rotator cuff repair to oxycodone 5mg every 6 hours as needed and acetaminophen 1000mg every 6 hours as needed following surgery (group 1), oxycodone 5mg every 6 hours as needed without any additional acetaminophen following surgery (group 2), or 1000mg of acetaminophen every 6 hours for 1 day prior to and following surgery (group 3).

The researchers found that patients in group 3 took significantly fewer 5mg oxycodone pills overall and took significantly fewer narcotic pills each day on average versus group 2. Group 3 reported significantly better overall pain control versus the other groups. Satisfaction was similar between the groups, as was postoperative medication-associated side effects.

“Acetaminophen appears to be an important component of multimodal analgesia in appropriately selected patients undergoing shoulder surgery,” the authors write. “Further study in a larger cohort of patients is needed to fully evaluate the efficacy of acetaminophen in this role.”

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