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Extracorporeal shock wave therapy versus corticosteroid local injection in shoulder impingement syndrome: a three-arm randomized controlled trial [with consumer summary]
ElGendy MH, Mazen MM, Saied AM, ElMeligie MM, Aneis Y
American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 2023 Jun;102(6):533-540
clinical trial
8/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: Yes; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of combining extracorporeal shock wave therapy or local corticosteroid injections with a conventional physical therapy (CPT) program for patients with shoulder impingement syndrome. DESIGN: This was a prospective single-blinded, randomized controlled study. METHODS: Sixty patients with unilateral shoulder impingement syndrome > 3 mos were allocated to group A (a 4-wk program of CPT plus a single local corticosteroid injection of 40 mg triamcinolone acetonide mixed with 1% xylocaine, n = 20), group B (CPT only, n = 20), and group C (CPT plus extracorporeal shock wave therapy, 2000 impulses, 0.2 to 0.3 mJ/mm 2, one session per week for 3 wks, n = 20). Subacromial space, shoulder pain and disability index, and shoulder range of motion were assessed at baseline and 4 and 12 wks posttreatment. RESULTS: There were no between-group differences at 4 wks. At the 12-wk follow-up, no significant differences were found between groups A and B. There was a significant difference in favor of group C compared with group A with the expectation of shoulder internal rotation and subacromial space. Group C was also superior to group B in all outcomes except for subacromial space. CONCLUSION: The addition of extracorporeal shock wave therapy to CPT induced more noticeable intermediate-term effects than CPT plus local corticosteroid injection or CPT alone.

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