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ORIGINAL ARTICLE   Open accessopen access

European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2023 February;59(1):75-84

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.22.07715-2

Copyright © 2022 THE AUTHORS

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license which allows users to copy and distribute the manuscript, as long as this is not done for commercial purposes and further does not permit distribution of the manuscript if it is changed or edited in any way, and as long as the user gives appropriate credits to the original author(s) and the source (with a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI) and provides a link to the license.

lingua: Inglese

Efficacy of therapeutic ultrasound in the treatment of chronic calcific shoulder tendinitis: a randomized trial

Stjepan ČOTA 1, Valentina DELIMAR 2, Iva ŽAGAR 3, 4, Kristina KOVAČ DURMIŠ 3, 4, Nikolina KRISTIĆ CVITANOVIĆ 1, Nikolino ŽURA 3, Porin PERIĆ 3, 4, Nadica LAKTAŠIĆ ŽERJAVIĆ 3, 4

1 Department of Pediatric Orthopedics, Children’s Hospital of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia; 2 Special Hospital for Medical Rehabilitation of Krapinske Toplice, Krapinske Toplice, Croatia; 3 University Department for Rheumatic Diseases and Rehabilitation, University Hospital Centre of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia; 4 School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia



BACKGROUND: Calcific shoulder tendinitis (CST) is characterized by hydroxyapatite crystals deposition in the rotator cuff tendons. Therapeutic exercises have been the mainstay of CST treatment, and evidence for therapeutic ultrasound (T-US) utilization and efficacy is lacking.
AIM: This study aimed to determine whether 4500 J T-US combined with therapeutic exercises is superior to therapeutic exercises alone regarding calcification size reduction and symptom improvement in chronic symptomatic CST.
DESIGN: This is a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
SETTING: This study was conducted at a University Department for Rheumatic Diseases and Rehabilitation of a University Hospital.
POPULATION: Patients with chronic CST were analyzed.
METHODS: After eligibility allocation, 46 patients with sonographically confirmed CST were divided into two groups (56 shoulders, 26 per group). Both groups performed the same therapeutic exercises for half an hour under physiotherapist supervision. In the treatment group T-US (4500 J, 10 minutes per session at a frequency of 1 MHz and an intensity of 1.5 W/cm2), and in the placebo group, sham T-US was applied for 4 weeks. Patients were assessed for: calcification size, shoulder pain, global health (GH), shoulder mobility (ROM), handgrip strength, Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI), Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI), and overall rehabilitation satisfaction.
RESULTS: All assessed variables improved in both groups. A significantly greater reduction in calcification size was recorded in the treatment group compared to placebo: -10.92% (IQR 4.61% to 19.38%) versus -5.04% (2.30% to 7.22%), P=0.008. There was a significantly greater decrease in HAQ-DI, reduction of VAS GH, and an increase in hand grip strength in the treatment group, while no significant differences were observed for other parameters between the groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results showed that adding the 4500 J T-US to therapeutic exercises in chronic symptomatic CST therapy resulted in greater calcification size reduction immediately following the treatment, as well as hand grip strength, HAQ-DI, and VAS GH improvement.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: 4500 J T-US combined with therapeutic exercises is more effective in reducing calcification size than therapeutic exercises alone in the treatment of chronic symptomatic CST.


KEY WORDS: Rotator cuff; Ultrasonic therapy; Rehabilitation; Exercise

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