Objective. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of intraarticular injections of corticosteroids (triamcinolone) in patients with symptomatic rotator cuff tears (RCT).
Design. Randomized controlled study.
Setting. Rehabilitation unit.
Patients. Sixty patients with full-thickness RCT were enrolled in the study. Patients were randomly divided into three equal groups of 20 patients. The first group received single intraarticular injection of 40 mg triamcinolone, the second group received two injections of 40 mg triamcinolone at 21-day interval, and the third group received no treatment (control group). All patients underwent rehabilitation sessions. Outcome measures were pain, evaluated using a visual analog scale, and shoulder functional status, evaluated by Constant–Murley score.
Measures. Outcome measures were pain, evaluated using a visual analog scale, and shoulder functional status, evaluated by Constant-Murley score.
Results. Pain at night score of both groups who received triamcinolone was lower than that of Control Group at 1 month (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01 in first and second groups, respectively) and at 3 months (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01 in the first and second groups, respectively). Similarly, activity pain score of groups treated with triamcinolone was lower than that of the control group at 1 month (P < 0.001 in both groups) and at 3 months (P < 0.001 in both groups). There was no statistically significant difference in pain at night between the first and second groups at 1 and at 3 months. There was no statistically significant difference among groups at 3 and 6 months in Constant–Murley scores.
Conclusions. Our study indicates that intraarticular injection of triamcinolone improves pain relief for 3 months in RCT and its action is not prolonged or potentiated by two injections of the drug done at 21-day intervals.