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  • Writer's pictureDr Josh Bonine DC

Delayed Treatment of Shoulder Pain Affects Outcomes

Delayed Treatment of Shoulder Pain Affects Outcomes

In a recent article by Hantes et al. (2011), the authors looked at how a delay in the treatment of traumatic rotator cuff tears affects patient outcome. The authors state, “Trauma of the shoulder girdle frequently causes traumatic rotator cuff tear (RCT), and the diagnosis may often be missed on the first clinical examination...However, many of these patients in the absence of a fracture around the shoulder are often discharged from the emergency department without a correct diagnosis” (Hantes et al., 2011, p.1766). The mechanism of injury of auto accidents often results in shoulder pain. In the absence of fracture, proper evaluation is essential for an accurate diagnosis.

“The most important finding of the present study is that early surgical repair of traumatic RCT [rotator cuff tear] provides a significant better outcome in comparison with a delayed repair” (Hantes et al., 2011, p.1769). It is important to have appropriate referrals in place so the patient can receive proper treatment.




Image Compliments of Medical Legal Art via The Doe Report (www.doereport.com). Copyright © 2012 Medical Legal Art, All rights reserved. As clinicians, we often see patients with shoulder pain following a traumatic event. In the absence of fracture, shoulder pain can be often overlooked due to the patient’s presentation with more severe pain producing injuries. It is imperative as a clinician to obtain a complete history and perform a complete physical examination in order to formulate an accurate diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan. It is also important to have good relationships with a team of doctors so that proper referrals can be made in a timely manner and patients can receive the best care possible.



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Reference:

Hantes, M. E., Karidakis, G. K., Vlychou, M., Varitimidis, S., Dailiana, Z., & Malizos K. N. (2011). A comparison of early versus delayed repair of traumatic rotator cuff tears. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, 19(10), 1766–1770.

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