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AJPM&R Journal Club Podcast: Corticosteroid Preparation and Dose in the Improvement of Shoulder Function and Pain
Dr. Matthew Carroll
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This Journal Club Podcast is brought to you by Association of Academic Physiatrists and features research published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

Drs. Eric Wisotzky and Matthew Kelly interview Dr. Matthew Carroll, a board certified Rheumatologist and Internist, regarding his study: Comparing Corticosteroid Preparation and Dose in the Improvement of Shoulder Function and Pain. Dr. Carroll currently practices Rheumatology full time in the Singing River Health System.

Shoulder pain may arise from inflammation of the bursa separating the supraspinatus tendon from the coracoacromial ligament and acromion. The optimal treatment dose and preparation of intrabursal corticosteroid injection are unknown.


This single-blinded equivalence study recruited 62 subjects randomizing them to one of following four arms: methylprednisolone 20 mg, methylprednisolone 40 mg, triamcinolone acetonide 20 mg, or triamcinolone acetonide 40 mg. QuickDASH, subject-reported pain, and adverse events were recorded in time of injection, 3 days later, 3 wks later, and 6 wks later. Primary outcome was QuickDASH improvements 6 wks after injection.


All four groups were equally matched regarding age, sex, ethnicity, and site injected. Six weeks after injection, no statistically significant changes were noted in QuickDASH improvement (as compared with time of injection) among the four arms. There were no statistically significant differences at 6 wks regarding improvement in pain. There were no statistically significant differences noted in adverse events among the four arms.


Neither dose nor preparation of injectable corticosteroid influences magnitude of improvement in function or pain experienced. Although this study provides clinically relevant insight regarding corticosteroid dose and type when managing shoulder pain, the modest sample size may limit the conclusions that can be made about efficacy and adverse effects.

pain, research
pain, research
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Cost: FREE
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