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Ultrasound guided lavage with corticosteroid injection versus sham lavage with and without corticosteroid injection for calcific tendinopathy of shoulder: randomised double blinded multi-arm study

PainSci » bibliography » Moosmayer et al 2023
Tags: treatment, surgery, tendinosis, bad news, pain problems, overuse injury, injury

One article on PainSci cites Moosmayer 2023: Achilles Tendinitis Treatment Science

PainSci commentary on Moosmayer 2023: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

Calcific tendinopathy is an unusually painful kind of tendinitis. The tendon gets a bit cruddy with deposits of calcium, and a common treatment approach has been to surgically “clean” the tendon (lavage). But more and more common orthopaedic surgeries are being tested against shams and losing … and now you can add this one to the list. The details of their methods are a bit of a brain-teaser (they also mixed some steroids into the recipe), but the bottom line is that real lavage didn’t beat fake lavage.

If we have learned anything from the last three decades of rehab research, it’s that we often can’t fix “obvious” problems by trying to remove the obvious part. The likely implication here is that calcification is just the tip of the pathological iceberg that makes the condition suck.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

OBJECTIVE: To compare treatment effects between ultrasound guided lavage with corticosteroid injection and sham lavage with and without corticosteroid injection in patients with calcific tendinopathy of the shoulder. DESIGN: Pragmatic, three arm, parallel group, double blinded, sham controlled, randomised, superiority trial with repeated measurements over 24 months. SETTING: Six hospitals in Norway and Sweden. PARTICIPANTS: 220 adults with calcific tendinopathy of the shoulder, persistent for at least three months. INTERVENTIONS: Ultrasound guided deposit lavage plus subacromial injection of 20 mg triamcinolone acetonide and 9 mL 1% lidocaine hydrochloride (lavage+steroid); sham lavage plus subacromial injection of 20 mg triamcinolone acetonide and 9 mL 1% lidocaine hydrochloride (sham lavage+steroid); or sham lavage plus subacromial injection of 10 mL 1% lidocaine hydrochloride (sham). All patients received a physiotherapeutic treatment regimen consisting of four home exercises. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was the result on the 48 point scale (0=worst; 48=best) of the Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS) at four month follow-up. Secondary outcomes included measurements on the short form of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire (QuickDASH) and of pain intensity up to 24 months. The influence of the size of the deposit at baseline and of the persistence or disappearance of the deposit was investigated. RESULTS: Data from 218 (99%) participants were included in the primary analysis. Differences between groups on the OSS at four months were not significant: lavage+steroid versus sham 0.2 (95% confidence interval -2.3 to 2.8; P=1.0); sham lavage+steroid versus sham 2.0 (-0.5 to 4.6; P=0.35); lavage+steroid versus sham lavage+steroid -1.8 (-4.3 to 0.7; P=0.47). After four months, 143 patients with insufficient treatment effect received supplementary treatment. At 24 months, none of the study procedures was superior to sham. No serious adverse events were reported. CONCLUSIONS: This study found no benefit for ultrasound guided lavage with a corticosteroid injection or for sham lavage with a corticosteroid injection compared with sham treatment in patients with calcific rotator cuff tendinopathy of the shoulder. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02419040EudraCT 2015-002343-34; Ethical committee Norway 2015-002343-34; Ethical committee Sweden 2015/79-31; NCT02419040.

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