High cholesterol levels linked with rotator cuff surgery failure

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Patients taking statins prior to or after surgery did not have higher rates of surgery failure.

Patients with higher cholesterol levels face a significantly greater risk for failure of arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery.

That is according to a new study to be presented tomorrow, Friday, March 17 at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

As part of the study, researchers reviewed a private insurer patient database of nearly 31,000 patients undergoing arthroscopic rotator cuff repair between 2007 and 2014. They found the rate of revision surgery was significantly higher in patients with moderate or high total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels compared to patients with normal levels. Among patients with moderate or high cholesterol, those who were not taking statins before or after surgery had significantly higher rates of revision surgery. Patients taking statins prior to or after surgery did not have higher rates of revision surgery, even in the presence of hypercholesterolaemia.
Brian C. Werner, an orthopaedic surgeon at the University of Virginia School of Medicine commented: “Additional study of the association between statins and rotator cuff surgical outcomes is encouraged to determine if improved cholesterol control can improve clinical outcomes following arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.”

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