Intra-articular triamcinolone acetonide injection in patients with capsulitis of the shoulder: a comparative study of two dose regimens

B A de Jong, R Dahmen, J A Hogeweg, R K Marti
Clinical Rehabilitation 1998, 12 (3): 211-5

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Although corticosteroid injections have been reported to be effective in capsulitis of the shoulder, the optimal dose has not been established. The purpose of this study was to compare relief of symptoms following a lower dose with that following a higher dose of triamcinolone acetonide given intra-articularly.

SUBJECTS: Thirty-two patients were given low dose suspension; 25 patients were given high dose suspension.

METHOD: Randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Each patient was given a course of three injections. Pain, sleep disturbance, functional impairment and passive range of motion (ROM) were assessed at intake and at one, three and six weeks after the initial injection. Data were analysed by independent sample t-tests and nonparametric Mann-Whitney U-tests.

RESULTS: The group which received the 40 mg dose showed significantly greater improvement than the group receiving the 10 mg dose.

CONCLUSIONS: The study shows that in the treatment of frozen shoulder greater symptom relief is obtained with a dose of 40 mg triamcinolone acetonide intra-articularly than with a dose of 10 mg. The effect on pain and sleep disturbance was more marked than on ROM. Intra-articular injections with triamcinolone acetonide appear to be an effective method to obtain symptom relief for patients with painful capsulitis of the shoulder.

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