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Effectiveness of radial shock-wave therapy for calcific tendinitis of the shoulder: single-blind, randomized clinical study
Cacchio A, Paoloni M, Barile A, Don R, de Paulis F, Calvisi V, Ranavolo A, Frascarelli M, Santilli V, Spacca G
Physical Therapy 2006 May;86(5):672-682
clinical trial
9/10 [Eligibility criteria: No; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: Yes; 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*

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Radial shock-wave therapy (RSWT) is a pneumatically generated, low- to medium-energy type of shock-wave therapy. This single-blind, randomized, 'less active similar therapy'-controlled study was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of RSWT for the management of calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. SUBJECTS: Ninety patients with radiographically verified calcific tendinitis of the shoulder were tested. METHODS: Subjects were randomly assigned to either a treatment group (n = 45) or a control group (n = 45). Pain and functional level were evaluated before and after treatment and at a 6-month follow-up. Radiographic modifications in calcifications were evaluated before and after treatment. RESULTS: The treatment group displayed improvement in all of the parameters analyzed after treatment and at the 6-month follow-up. Calcifications disappeared completely in 86.6% of the subjects in the treatment group and partially in 13.4% of subjects; only 8.8% of the subjects in the control group displayed partially reduced calcifications, and none displayed a total disappearance. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The results suggest that the use of RSWT for the management of calcific tendinitis of the shoulder is safe and effective, leading to a significant reduction in pain and improvement of shoulder function after 4 weeks, without adverse effects.

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