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Rotator Cuff Tear and Trouble Sleeping – Will This Improve After Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery?

Patients with rotator cuff tears often present to our orthopedic shoulder and elbow clinic because they have significant shoulder pain at night and trouble sleeping.  They may not realize that their rotator cuff is torn, but the significant night pain and trouble sleeping often leads them to have it further evaluated by a shoulder specialist. 

Not all rotator cuff tears lead to surgery and non-surgical options can be initiated to try to relieve shoulder pain and improve night time symptoms as well.  However, some rotator cuff tears do progress to the point of needing a rotator cuff repair: http://www.brentmorrismd.com/services/rotator-cuff-repair.

Fortunately, there is new information in The American Journal of Sports Medicine to suggest that pain at night and sleep disturbance does appear to improve after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.  Certainly, in the early recovery period the pain following surgery may impact sleep, but night pain and sleep disturbance does appear to improve significantly by 3 months after surgery and continues to improve up to 6 months after surgery.

 Additionally, the study showed that limiting opioid medication use before surgery and even after surgery can help improve sleep after rotator cuff repair.  Opioid pain medications have been shown to disturb normal sleep patterns and decrease sleep quality.

  1. The first thing you should know is that you are not alone if you have a rotator cuff tear and trouble sleeping at night. Nearly 90% of the patients in the study with rotator cuff tears reported sleep disturbance prior to arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.
  1. Sleep can significantly improve after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.

 

Citation:

Luke Austin, Matthew Pepe, Bradford Tucker, Alvin Ong, Robert Nugent, Brandon Eck and Fotios Tjoumakaris. Sleep Disturbance Associated With Rotator Cuff Tear: Correction With Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair. Am J Sports Med 2015 43: 1455 originally published online March 16, 2015 DOI: 10.1177/0363546515572769

Who is Dr. Brent J. Morris?

Dr. Brent J. Morris is an orthopedic shoulder and elbow surgeon in Lexington, Kentucky at Baptist Health Lexington – Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Dr. Morris is a fellowship-trained shoulder and elbow specialist with additional interest in primary and revision total shoulder replacement surgery.  Dr. Morris is co-author of a textbook devoted to total shoulder, reverse total shoulder, and revision shoulder replacement surgery, Shoulder Arthroplasty, 2ndEdition.

 

About Dr. Morris:

Dr. Brent J. Morris is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship-trained shoulder and elbow specialist in Lexington, Kentucky at Baptist Health Lexington – Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.  Dr. Morris is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (FAAOS) and an Active Member of American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES). Dr. Morris and his research team have published extensively on shoulder surgery and ways to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction following surgery.  He is co-author of a textbook devoted to total shoulder, reverse total shoulder replacement surgery, and revision shoulder replacement surgery, Shoulder Arthroplasty, 2ndEdition (https://www.elsevier.com/books/shoulder-arthroplasty/edwards/978-0-323-53164-1). 

 

For more information about Dr. Morris, visit online at www.brentmorrismd.com.

 

Brent J. Morris, MD

Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon

Shoulder Replacement and Revision Shoulder Replacement Specialist

Baptist Health Lexington – Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Fellow American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (FAAOS)

Active Member American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES)

Author
Dr. Brent J. Morris

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