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Ultrasound therapy led to clinical improvement in calcific shoulder tendinitis

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Ebenbichler GR, Erdogmus CB, Resch KL, et al. Ultrasound therapy for calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. N Engl J Med. 1999 May 20;340: 1533-8.


In patients with calcific tendinitis of the shoulder, is pulsed ultrasound therapy clinically effective?


Randomized (allocation concealed), double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 9-month follow-up.


Outpatient clinic at a university hospital in Vienna, Austria.


63 patients (mean age 52 y) with unilateral or bilateral, radiographically dense (Gärtner and Heyer classification type 1 or 2) calcific tendinitis of the shoulder (70 shoulders were included). Exclusion criteria were radiographically nondense, ill-defined calcific tendinitis (type 3); systemic diseases associated with calcification; previous surgery, percutaneous needle aspiration, ultrasound, or shock-wave therapy for calcifications; injection of glucocorticoids in the shoulder in the previous 3 months; or regular use of analgesic or anti-inflammatory drugs. 61 shoulders (87%) at the end of therapy and 56 shoulders (80%) at 9 months were included …

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