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The TXA 2 Study (Systemic Tranexamic Acid in Shoulder Arthroscopy and Rotator Cuff Repair)

Current Research
The TXA 2 Study (Systemic Tranexamic Acid in Shoulder Arthroscopy and Rotator Cuff Repair)


Stiffness after rotator cuff repair is common and difficult to prevent. The use of Tranexamic acid (“TXA”) may help but high quality studies are needed to support this theory.

Tranexamic acid is a drug that effectively reduces blood loss and helps clot formation in bleeding arteries during surgery. Its safety and benefits have been well documented in major orthopaedic procedures such as hip replacement, knee replacement, trauma and spinal surgery.

The use of TXA in shoulder surgery is becoming more popular and has shown many advantages. Although transfusion and blood loss are not common in shoulder arthroscopy and rotator cuff repair, stiffness after rotator cuff repair surgery can occur, with reported rates in patients ranging from 4.7% to 32.7%. Whilst a variety of factors have been proposed to contribute to post-operative stiffness, prevention of stiffness has been difficult, even with early range of motion protocols 17-23.

Bleeding into joint spaces has been shown to cause acute stiffness and pain as well as incite an immune response that can lead to the thickening and scarring of connective tissue 24-26, but its role in postoperative stiffness has not been established. That said, TXA use has been studied in knee arthroscopy and ACL reconstruction and has shown a reduction in pain and improved early range of motion. This has thought to have been associated with lower bleeding into the joint postoperatively 27.

Currently, no literature exists looking at TXA use in shoulder arthroscopy and rotator cuff repair. The published evidence on TXA use in shoulder surgery is limited to arthroplasty procedures, which shows a decrease in blood loss and drain tube output 12,14,28,29. Therefore, there is a need for more high-level studies to support the use of intravenous TXA in arthroscopic shoulder surgery and rotator cuff repair.

TXA Study (Systemic Tranexamic Acid in Shoulder Arthroplasty


  • To test the hypothesis that systemic use of tranexamic acid reduces bleeding and decreases pain and stiffness in patients undergoing shoulder arthroscopy and rotator cuff repair.


This is a randomised controlled study involving 100 patients divided into two groups: one that receives the treatment drug (TXA) and one that receives a placebo (Saline).

Study Procedure

All consecutive patients indicated for elective arthroscopy and rotator cuff repair will be considered eligible. After having read the information sheet and signed the consent form, they will then be blindly randomized* to one of 2 groups: TXA or Control. Baseline patient characteristics such as age, sex, hand dominance and relevant comorbidities will be recorded in a deidentified Patient Data Chart along with rotator cuff tear size (recorded on pre-operative imaging) and pre-operative pain score extracted from the American Shoulder and Elbow Society (ASES) score which is completed as standard by all patients who consult Dr Cass or Dr Young. During the surgical procedure, patients will be administered either intravenous TXA or placebo (saline) and rotator cuff tear size will be confirmed during arthroscopy. Other procedures including biceps treatment, subacromial decompression, ACJ excision and presence of arthritis will also be recorded. Preoperative range of motion, postoperative pain at 72 hours and 2 weeks together with range of motion at 8 and 24 weeks will also be recorded for outcome analysis.
*As each surgeon has different surgical techniques, their patients will be randomised separately.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patients consented for shoulder arthroscopy and rotator cuff repair
  • Patients who are capable of and have given informed consent to participate in this study

Exclusion Criteria

  • Patients allergic to tranexamic acid
  • Patients with a failed rotator cuff repair requiring revision
  • Patients with irreparable rotator cuff tears
  • Patients with rotator cuff tears requiring augmentation
  • Patients with history of DVT or pulmonary embolism
  • Patients with history of stroke
  • Patients with cardiovascular disease, including coronary disease or peripheral arteriopathy
  • Patients with renal or liver failure
  • Patients with a known coagulopathy
  • Patients who are or may be pregnant
  • Patients that refuse a potential transfusion

Statistical Procedure

Correlation analysis, including univariate and multivariate analyses will be used to determine the correlation between systemic administration of TXA and the selected outcome criteria. P value <0.5 will be considered as statistically significant. All data will be entered into Socrates Orthopaedic Outcomes Software (Ortholink Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia).

Ethics and Governance

Approved by St Vincent’s Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee to be undertaken at the Mater Hospital Sydney. HREC reference HREC/17/SVH/174.

Approved by North Shore Private Ethics Committee to be undertaken at North Shore Private Hospital. HREC reference NSPHEC 2017-008.

TGA Clinical Trial Notification number CT-2017-CTN-02750-1 v2

ANZCTR trial number ACTRN12617001074381p viewable online here:


There was no significant difference in VAS-pain scores between groups at day 3 postoperation. Pain scores were significantly better in the TXA group at 8 weeks. There was no difference between groups at any time point in the ASES or Constant score. The TXA group had improved motion at 6 months with a reduced rate of secondary adhesive capsulitis. We therefore concluded that TXA did not improve postoperative pain scores after RCR, however, patients who received the intervention demonstrated greater range of motion at 6 months with lower rates of secondary adhesive capsulitis.


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Lead Investigator:

Dr Allan Young


September 2017




Mackenzie SP, Spasojevic M, Smith M, Mattern O, Piggott RP, Patel SS, Bedaiwy N, Cass B and Young AA. The effect of single-dose, preoperative intravenous tranexamic acid on early postoperative pain scores after rotator cuff repair: a double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 2022 Jul;31(7):1399-1408.


Shoulder and Elbow Society of Australia biennial meeting 2022


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{Updated Dec 2022}

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Biomechanical cadaveric study on displacement following AC Joint stabilisation: a comparison of three constructs

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Long term follow-up of “Nexel” total elbow replacement

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Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty: Comparative Study of New Technologies

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Muscle advancement in massive rotator cuff repair