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Effect of specific exercise strategy on need for surgery in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome: randomised controlled study
  1. Theresa Holmgren1,
  2. Hanna Björnsson Hallgren2,
  3. Birgitta Öberg1,
  4. Lars Adolfsson2,
  5. Kajsa Johansson1
  1. 1Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Physiotherapy, Linköping University, SE-581 83, Linköping, Sweden
  2. 2Department of Orthopaedics, University Hospital, SE-581 85, Linköping
  1. Correspondence to : T Holmgren; theresa.holmgren{at}


STUDY QUESTION Can a specific exercise strategy improve shoulder function and pain in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome, thereby decreasing the need for arthroscopic subacromial decompression?

SUMMARY ANSWER Compared with a control exercise group, patients in the specific exercise group had significantly greater improvements in shoulder function and pain and fewer patients needed surgery at the three month assessment.

WHAT IS KNOWN AND WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS Different exercise programmes are used as first line treatment in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome, but conclusive evidence to support the efficacy for these programmes is lacking. This specific exercise strategy proved effective in improving shoulder function and pain in patients in whom earlier conservative treatment had failed.

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