Bone and Joint Institute


Effectiveness of surgical and non-surgical interventions for managing diabetic shoulder pain: a systematic review

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Disability and Rehabilitation

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© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Purpose: This systematic review evaluated and compared the effectiveness of non-surgical and surgical interventions for managing shoulder pain in patients with diabetes. Methods: PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, Sport Discus, and Cochrane library were searched for studies published in the last 20 years. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and cohort studies that assessed shoulder pain in patients with diabetes and implemented one or a combination of non-surgical and surgical interventions were eligible for inclusion. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the Structured Effectiveness Quality Evaluation Scale (SEQES) tool. Data extracted from the eligible studies included study design, patient characteristics, duration of symptoms, type of interventions, outcome measures used to assess pain, follow-up intervals, and research findings. Results: A narrative synthesis with effect sizes (ES) or between-group differences was conducted. A total of 25 (14 non-surgical and 11 surgical) studies met the inclusion criteria. Six studies addressed physiotherapeutic interventions (three RCTs and three cohorts–ES = 0.07–1.3), three studies assessed the effect of steroid injections (two RCTs and one cohort–ES = 0.2–0.4), two cohorts addressed arthrographic capsular distension (between-group difference of 1.1 on Visual Analogue Scale), two cohorts addressed MUA, and one RCT addressed suprascapular nerve block (ES = 1–6). For the surgical studies, six cohorts addressed arthroscopic capsular release (ES = 0.2), three cohorts addressed arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (ES = 0.05–0.5), and one cohort addressed arthroplasty (ES = 0.3). Conclusion: Moderate- to very-low-quality evidence suggests large effects of physiotherapy modalities plus exercise and suprascapular nerve block, and trivial to small effects for surgical interventions for improving shoulder pain in patients with diabetes. Future well-designed studies are needed to provide accurate estimates of the true effects of these interventions on improving shoulder pain in patients with diabetes.Implications For Rehabilitation Shoulder pain may lead to disability in patients with diabetes. We recommend the use of physiotherapy interventions to reduce shoulder pain. Corticosteroid injections are recommended for short-term shoulder pain relief.

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