Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Impingement Syndrome" in Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Harrison and Flatow recently published a review article on "subacromial impingement syndrome"

This article uses the term "impingement syndrome" to refer to a wide variety of pathologies ranging from bursitis to full thickness cuff tears.

As pointed out in an earlier post on "impingement", this 'diagnosis' can usually be replaced by a more precise diagnosis using modern history and physical examination coupled with appropriate imaging of the rotator cuff.

It seems to make more sense to discuss the diagnosis and management of bursitis separately from the diagnosis and management of full thickness tears of the rotator cuff. Fortunately, we now have the tools for making the distinction and can lay the use of 'impingement syndrome' to rest just as we no longer use the term 'internal derangement of the knee'. This will enhance our clinical understanding and enable more accurate and precise clinical research.


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