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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


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Role of Ultrasound in the Detection of Rotator-Cuff Syndrome: An Observational Study

Fang Zheng, Haiyan Wang, Hongyan Gong, Huijun Fan, Kai Zhang, Lianfang Du

(Shanghai General Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Shanghai, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:5856-5863

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.915547

BACKGROUND: Physical tests are usually preferred to assess rotator-cuff syndrome but are insufficient to predict the morphology and size of the rotator-cuff. The objective of the study was to rate the ultrasound findings for patients with sudden shoulder pain and to determine potential predictors of the same.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 112 patients with sudden shoulder pain with rotator-cuff syndrome, suspected by orthopedic doctors, were subjected to ultrasonography. Real-time ultrasonography was done for the acromioclavicular joint, biceps, infraspinatus, posterior labrum, subscapularis, supraspinatus, teres minor tendon, and the sub-acromial-subdeltoid bursa. Each tendon was assessed via scanning planes in orientation as per longer and shorter axis, and from their myotendinous junction shoulder to bony insertions. Linear and logistic regression analysis were performed to predict the associations of medical history with rotator-cuff injury.
RESULTS: Ultrasonography identified that 82% of the enrolled patients had at least one particular cause of the rotator-cuff disorder. Among the rotator-cuff disorders, calcific tendonitis (54%) was observed more frequently followed by tendinopathy (32%), subacromial-subdeltoid bursitis (22%), and partial thickness tear (21%). Also, 46 patients (41%) had multiple findings. Older age (older than 40 years) was a strong predicting factor of rotator-cuff disorder (r²=0.36, P=0.0004).
CONCLUSIONS: Ultrasonography is a vital diagnostic procedure used by orthopedic surgeons for diagnosis of the rotator-cuff disorder(s) in patients with sudden shoulder pain.

Keywords: Bursitis, rotator cuff, Shoulder Dislocation, Tendinopathy, Ultrasonography, Ultrasonography, Doppler

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