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SA Orthopaedic Journal

On-line version ISSN 2309-8309
Print version ISSN 1681-150X


UCHENDU, E et al. Sonographic assessment of the shoulders in asymptomatic elderly diabetics in a Nigerian population. SA orthop. j. [online]. 2015, vol.14, n.2, pp.35-40. ISSN 2309-8309.

BACKGROUND: There is an increased risk of developing shoulder lesions in diabetics especially with increasing age. Ultrasonography provides a low risk and cost effective method of evaluating shoulder disorders in the general population. METHODS: This is a study of 60 diabetic subjects and 60 controls that were asymptomatic of shoulder joint disease. An ultrasound examination of both shoulders was performed according to standard protocol. Data were analysed using the SPSS data analysis software. RESULTS: Of the 60 diabetic subjects, 32 were male and 28 were female, while there were 35 males and 25 females in the subject group. Supraspinatus (SST) tendon thickness was greater in diabetics than in controls, (6.44 ± 1.00 mm vs 5.25 ± 0.87 mm, P = 0.000) and (6.02 ± 0.90 mm vs 5.06 ± 0.81 mm, P = 0.000) in the dominant and non-dominant shoulders respectively. Biceps tendon (BT) thickness was also significantly greater in diabetics (4.16 ± 0.57 mm vs 3.20 ± 0.49 mm, P = 0.000), and (3.99 ± 0.48 mm vs 3.99 ± 0.48 mm, P = 0.000) in the dominant and non-dominant shoulders respectively. CONCLUSION: There was an increase in asymptomatic shoulder pathology in diabetic patients that was associated with ageing.

Keywords : diabetes mellitus; elderly; shoulder; sonography.

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