Effectiveness of corticosteroid injection in adhesive capsulitis

Ajda Bal, Emel Eksioglu, Berna Gulec, Ece Aydog, Eda Gurcay, Aytul Cakci
Clinical Rehabilitation 2008, 22 (6): 503-12

OBJECTIVE: To assess whether intraarticular corticosteroids improve the outcome of a comprehensive home exercise programme in patients with adhesive capsulitis.

SETTING: The study was undertaken in the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Department of a Ministry of Health hospital in Turkey.

SUBJECTS: Eighty patients with adhesive capsulitis were enrolled in the study.

INTERVENTIONS: The patients were randomly assigned to two groups: Group 1 patients were given intraarticular corticosteroid (1 mL, 40 mg methylprednisolone acetate) followed by a 12-week comprehensive home exercise programme. Group 2 patients were given intraarticular serum physiologic (1 mL solution of 0.9% sodium chloride) followed by a 12-week comprehensive home exercise programme.

MAIN MEASURES: The outcome parameters were Shoulder Pain and Disability Index and University of California-Los Angeles end-result scores, night pain and shoulder passive range of motion.

RESULTS: Mean actual changes in abduction range of motion, Shoulder Pain and Disability Index-total score and Shoulder Pain and Disability Index-pain score were statistically different between the two groups at the second week, with the better scores determined in group 1. However, there were no significant differences between the groups at the 12th week. Medians of University of California-Los Angeles scores in the second week were significantly different between the two groups (P = 0.02), with better scores in group 1; however, the difference in 12th week scores was insignificant.

CONCLUSIONS: Intraarticular corticosteroids have the additive effect of providing rapid pain relief, mainly in the first weeks of the exercise treatment period. In patients with adhesive capsulitis who have pain symptom predominantly, intraarticular corticosteroid therapy could be advised concomitantly with exercise.

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