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Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2009 May-Jul;43(3):243-7. doi: 10.3944/AOTT.2009.243.

[The value of intermittent ultrasound treatment in subacromial impingement syndrome].

[Article in Turkish]

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Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Istanbul Medicine Faculty of Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.



The role of intermittent ultrasound in the conservative treatment of subacromial impingement syndrome (SIS) has not been clarified. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of ultrasound treatment in SIS.


Thirty-six patients (29 females, 7 males; mean age 51 years; range 40 to 69 years) with type II SIS were randomized to two groups to receive intermittent ultrasound (group 1, n=20) and placebo ultrasound (group 2, n=16) for three weeks (15 sessions). All the patients received the same standard physical therapy and rehabilitation modalities besides ultrasound treatment. Evaluations were made before and three and six weeks after treatment. Functional results were assessed by the Constant score, pain was assessed by a visual analog scale, and range of motion was measured.


Within-group comparisons showed significant improvements in both groups three and six weeks after treatment (p<0.05). Comparison between pretreatment and 6-week values were as follows: the mean flexion increased from 148.8+/-20.4 degrees to 175.6+/-6.0 degrees in group 1, and from 165.9+/-14.1 degrees to 177.4+/-4.4 degrees in group 2; internal and external rotation increased from 66.8+/-20.7 degrees and 61.9+/-22.9 degrees to 83.2+/-10.9 degrees and 84.4+/-9.6 degrees in group 1, and from 75.0+/-17.3 degrees and 70.0+/-19.8 degrees to 87.1+/-6.8 degrees and 84.6+/-8.4 degrees in group 2, respectively. There were no significant differences between the two groups with respect to the range of motion at the end of six weeks (p>0.05). The Constant score improved from 43.7+/-12.9 to 65.7+/-7.7 in group 1, and from 43.9+/-16.4 to 65.3+/-7.6 in group 2. Pain scores decreased from 5.5 to 2 and from 5 to 1 in group 1 and 2, respectively. Improvements in Constant scores and pain scores were similar in both groups (p>0.05).


Our findings suggest that intermittent ultrasound added to conservative treatment of SIS do not provide an additional benefit to the patients.

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