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Shoulder disorders in the elderly (a hospital study).
  1. M D Chard,
  2. B L Hazleman
  1. Rheumatology Research Unit, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.


    One hundred acute geriatric inpatients were assessed to investigate the prevalence of shoulder disorders; 21 had symptoms due to shoulder disease. Conditions included supraspinatus tendinitis (five), chronic rotator cuff rupture (seven), frozen shoulder (two), glenohumeral osteoarthritis (two), apatite related shoulder arthritis (one), stroke related shoulder disease (six). (Some patients had more than one shoulder condition.) The last group included painful stiff shoulders (three), glenohumeral subluxation (two), and acute shoulder-hand syndrome (one). Patients with rotator cuff rupture had bilateral disease. Only three patients had sought medical attention for their symptoms. The common occurrence of these conditions has possible implications for rehabilitation, and medical awareness is required as few may volunteer symptoms. A community based study is needed to assess the prevalence in the elderly population.

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