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Are shoulder surgeons any good at diagnosing rotator cuff tears using ultrasound?: A comparative analysis of surgeon vs radiologist

Funk, L, Harris, J and Jeyam, M 2008, 'Are shoulder surgeons any good at diagnosing rotator cuff tears using ultrasound?: A comparative analysis of surgeon vs radiologist' , International Journal of Shoulder Surgery, 2 (1) , pp. 4-6.

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Abstract

High-resolution ultrasound has gained increasing popularity as an aid in the diagonsis of rotator cuff pathology. With the advent of portable machines, ultrasound has become accessible to clincians. Aim: this study was conducted to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of ultrasound in diagnosing rotator cuff tears by a shoulder surgeon and comparing their ability to that of a musculoskeletal radiologist. Materials and Methods: seventy patients undergoing shoulder arthroscopy for rotator cuff pathology underwent preoperative ultrasonography (US). All patients were of similar demographics and pathology. The surgeon used a Sonosite Micromax portable ultrasound machine with a 10-MHz high frequency linear array transducer and the radiologist used a 9-12 MHz linear array probe on a Siemens Antares machine. Arthroscopic diagnosis was the reference standard to which ultrasound findings were compared. Results: the sensitivity in detecting full thickness tears was similar for both the surgeon (92%) and the radiologist (94%). The radiologist had 100% sensitivity in diagnosing partial thickness tears, compared to 85.7% for the surgeon. The specificity for the surgeon was 94% and 85% for the radiologist. Discussion: our study shows that the surgeons are capable of diagnosing rotator cuff tears with the use of high-resolution portable ultrasound in the outpatient setting. Conclusion: office ultrasound, by a trained clinician, is a powerful diagnostic tool in diagnosing rotator cuff tears and can be used effectively in running one-stop shoulder clinics.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Shoulder, ultrasound
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Health Sciences > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care
Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Health Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Shoulder Surgery
Publisher: Medknow Publications
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0973-6042
Depositing User: RH Shuttleworth
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2011 13:28
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 17:54
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/15974

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