The effectiveness of extracorporeal shock wave therapy in snapping scapula

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Acar N., Karaarslan A. A., KARAKAŞLI A.

Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery, vol.25, no.1, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/2309499016684723
  • Journal Name: Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Corticosteroid injection, Extracorporal shock wave therapy, Scapulothoracic bursitis
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


© Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery 2017.Background: Bursitis of the snapping scapula is commonly a misdiagnosed problem. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) has been used successfully in the treatment of many chronic inflammatory conditions. The aim of this study was to assess and compare the effectiveness of ESWT in the treatment of scapulothoracic bursitis with the outcome of corticosteroid injection. Methods: Using the randomized controlled trials 43 patients with scapulothoracic bursitis were divided into two groups. Group 1 (n = 22) received three sessions of ESWT. Group 2 (n = 21) received a single local injection of 80 mg of methylprednisolone. Visual analogue scale (VAS) scores were recorded at each follow-up, whereas the level of satisfaction was evaluated using the Roles and Maudsley criteria. Results: In group 1, the average VAS scores after 1, 2, 3, and 6 months were 39, 30, 27, and 16, respectively, whereas, in group 2, the average VAS scores were 46, 44, 35, and 36, respectively. There was no statistical significance between the two groups in the first and second months. However, after 3 and 6 months, group 1 revealed lower average VAS scores compared to that of the second group with p-values (0.012 and 0.001), respectively. Roles and Maudsley criteria showed that first group patients were 46% excellent, 36% good, 14% acceptable, and 4% had poor results. However, second group patients were 24% excellent, 33% good, 19% acceptable, and 24% had poor results. Conclusion: We believe that ESWT is a beneficial and trustable method of treatment and can be strongly recommended in painful cases of scapulothoracic bursitis.