Purpose; To compare the acute effects of a ice bandage on pain and swelling after the first 72 h after arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery of the shoulder with no cold therapy. It was hypothesized that using the bandage is more effective in reducing pain and swelling after 72
Methods; According to a power analysis, 22 patients were randomly assigned to two groups after arthroscopic surgery. The first group wore a cold bandage, and the second group without any cold therapy. Pain and swelling were measured 1, 8, 24 and 72h after surgery. The use of pain killers was also monitored during the trial. Differences within and between groups were analyzed.
Based on the results of this study, no significant reduction of pain could be seen with cold therapy compared to without. Clinicians should question the need of expensive
cold bandages in the short-term post-operative treatment after arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder.
Level of evidence II.