Ultrasound‐guided versus landmark‐guided subacromial corticosteroid injections for rotator cuff related shoulder pain: A systematic review of randomised controlled trials

Natasha J. Adamson, Munyaradzi Tsuro, Nicola Adams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction
Rotator cuff related shoulder pain (RCRSP) is the most common presentation of shoulder pain within physiotherapy. Corticosteroid injections (CSI) have become increasingly popular to reduce pain, increase range of motion (ROM) and improve shoulder function. Evidence around the use of ultrasound-guided (USG) versus landmark-guided (LMG) CSIs remains controversial.

Objective
The objective of this appraisal was to compare the effectiveness of each approach in the management of RCRSP.

Methods
Cochrane, PubMed and CINAHL electronic databases were searched (from January 2014 to February 2021). Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were included comparing USG to LMG CSIs for RCRSP. An independent reviewer selected the studies, extracted and synthesised the data. Two reviewers carried out a quality appraisal. Outcome measures were pain, function and ROM.

Results
Four RCTs (n = 179 participants, n = 184 shoulders) were reviewed. Both USG and LMG groups showed statistically significant within group improvements in clinical outcomes. There were no significant differences between groups. Three studies were identified as being a ‘low’ risk of bias (RoB) and did not favour the use of ultrasound. One study did favour the use of ultrasound for improving function, although it was found to have ‘high’ RoB. Adverse events were seldom reported.

Conclusion
There is limited evidence to suggest using USG CSIs has a superior effect on clinical outcomes compared to LMG, though small sample sizes and lack of long-term follow-up limit the generalisability of the findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784-795
Number of pages12
JournalMusculoskeletal Care
Volume20
Issue number4
Early online date5 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

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