Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Gerold Ebenbichler is a Research Associate Professor and Senior Clinical Specialist at the University Department of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Occupational Medicine, Vienna Medical University and General Hospital of Vienna, Austria. He has received his MD form the University of Innsbruck in 1991 and performed his Doctoral Thesis at the University Department of Neurology (1998-1991), University of Vienna. After the completion of his residency, he spent a research fellowship awarded by the Austrian Science Foundation at the Neuro-Muscular Research Center, Boston University in 1999 and 2000. Thereafter he was appointed as a clinical specialist at the rehabilitation hospital Weisser Hof in 2001. His research focuses on the rehabilitation related physiology and pathophysiology of neuromuscular functioning and health as well as the evaluation of treatment effects of physical medical and rehabilitative interventions. He is a peer reviewer for several major biomedical journals related to Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. He serves as an associate editor to the Journal of Neuro-engineering and Rehabilitation and as an editorial board member to the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is also the section editor for continuous medical education to the Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.
Objective: To follow both the structure and function related 10 years’ outcome of shoulders that had been treated with therapeutic ultrasound (US) for symptomatic calcific tendinitis; to identify predictors for an unimpaired shoulder function.
Method: Long-term follow-up of 45 shoulders (37 patients) that had been treated for symptomatic calcific tendinitis with either a series of US or sham US 10 years ago. The main outcome variables were presence of calcium deposits and subacromial impingement on standardized X-ray imaging, shoulder symptoms (Binder score) and function (Constant score).
Results: At 10 years, a similar proportion of calcium deposits had resolved in 78% of the originally US treated compared with 83% of sham treated shoulders, whereas at nine months significantly more calcium deposits had been resolved in the US group (p=0.045). Shoulder symptoms and function had significantly improved at both nine months’ and 10 years’ follow-up examinations with no significant differences between groups. No variables were found to be of prognostic value to predict a favorable long-term outcome.
Conclusion: Symptomatic calcific tendinitis of the shoulder has a good likelihood to completely resolve in the long-term. Treating the calcium deposit effectively, however, may not be causal to the recovery from symptoms and function in calcific tendinitis.