Increasing Numbers of Shoulder Corticosteroid Injections Within a Year Preoperatively May Be Associated With a Higher Rate of Subsequent Revision Rotator Cuff Surgery

Published:November 22, 2018DOI:


      To identify any dose-dependent association between the use of subacromial corticosteroid injections within a year before rotator cuff repair (RCR) and subsequent need for revision rotator cuff surgery.


      Two large administrative databases were queried for patients undergoing arthroscopic RCR. A minimum of 1 year of preoperative database exposure and 2 years of postoperative database follow-up were required for inclusion. Patients were stratified into groups that received 0 (control), 1, 2, or 3 or more ipsilateral corticosteroid shoulder injections within the year prior to RCR. The outcome of interest was ipsilateral revision arthroscopic or open RCR or arthroscopic debridement for a diagnosis of rotator cuff tear within 2 years of the index surgery. Revision rates were compared between groups using a multivariate logistic regression analysis controlling for demographic and comorbidity confounders.


      A total of 110,567 patients from the Medicare database and 12,892 patients from the private insurance database were included. There was no association between a single injection within the year prior to RCR and revision surgery in either cohort. The use of 2 or more injections was associated with a significant increase in the risk of requiring revision surgery in both the Medicare (odds ratio [OR], 2.76-3.26; P < .0001) and private insurance (OR, 2.53-2.87; P < .0001) populations.


      A single shoulder injection within a year prior to arthroscopic RCR was not associated with any increased risk of revision surgery; however, the administration of 2 or more injections was associated with a substantially increased risk of subsequent revision rotator cuff surgery (OR, 2.53-3.26). Although causality cannot be established on the basis of this database review, caution is recommended when considering more than 1 shoulder corticosteroid injection in patients with potentially repairable rotator cuff tears.

      Level of Evidence

      Level III, retrospective cohort study.
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