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AJPM&R Journal Club Podcast: Long-term Course of Shoulders After Ultrasound Therapy for Calcific Tendinitis
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This Journal Club Podcast is brought to you by Association of Academic Physiatrists and features research published in the Americam Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

Drs. Eric Wisotzky and Matt Maxwell interview Dr. Gerold Ebenbichler, a Research Associate Professor and Senior Clinical Specialist at the Vienna Medical University and General Hospital of Vienna, Austria. They discuss his recent study, Long-term course of shoulders after ultrasound therapy for calcific tendinitis: results of the ten years’ follow-up of an RCT, which will be published in the September issue of the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

To follow both the structure and function related long-term course of shoulders that had been treated with therapeutic ultrasound (US) for symptomatic calcific tendinitis.

Long-term follow-up of 45 shoulders (37 patients) that had been treated for symptomatic calcific tendinitis with either a series of US or sham US ten years ago. The main outcome variables were presence of calcium deposits and subacromial impingement on standardized Xray imaging, shoulder symptoms (Binder score) and function (Constant score).

At ten years, a similar proportion of calcium deposits had resolved in 78% of the originally US treated compared with 83% of sham treated shoulders, whereas at nine months significantly more calcium deposits had been resolved in the US group (p=0.045). Relative to baseline, shoulder symptoms and function had significantly improved at both the ten-years´ and nine-months´ follow-up examinations with no significant differences between groups. Regular sports performance at baseline predicted a favorable long-term outcome.

Symptomatic calcific tendinitis of the shoulder has a good likelihood to completely resolve in the long-term. Treating the calcium deposit effectively, however, may not be causal to the recovery from symptoms and function in calcific tendinitis.
non-surgical management, treatment, calcific tendinitis of the shoulder, ultrasound, function, long-tern results
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