Content » Vol 44, Issue 9

Original report

Relationship between severity of shoulder subluxation and soft-tissue injury in hemiplegic stroke patients

Shih-Wei Huang, Sen-Yung Liu, Hao-Wei Tang, Ta-Sen Wei, Wei-Te Wang , Chao-Pin Yang
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Changhua Christian Hospital, 135 Nan-Hsiao Street, 500 Changhua, Taiwan. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1026


Objective: The aims of this study were: (i) to determine whether the severity of post-hemiplegic shoulder subluxation in stroke patients correlates with soft-tissue injury; and (ii) to determine the shoulder subluxation measurement cut-off points that are indications for further ultrasound examination for soft-tissue injuries in these patients.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Patients: A total of 39 stroke patients with shoulder subluxation.
Methods: Shoulder subluxation was evaluated by physical examination, radiography and ultrasound. Soft-tissue injuries were assessed by ultrasound. Subluxation parameters were entered into stepwise logistic regression analyses to predict biceps and supraspinatus tendonitis. With the assumption that shoulder subluxation can be a predisposing factor for tendonitis, receiver operating characteristic curves for shoulder subluxation parameters of the affected side were used to determine cut-off points for optimal sensitivity and specificity of biceps and supraspinatus tendonitis.
Results: Shoulder subluxation lateral distance, measured by physical examination, is a predictor for supraspinatus tendonitis (odds ratio = 34. 9, p = 0. 036). Further ultrasound investigation for soft-tissue injury is indicated when subluxation lateral distance, measured by physical examination is ≥ 2. 25 cm or, measured by radiographic examination, ≥ 3. 18 cm for lateral distance, ≥ 3. 08 cm for vertical distance, or ≥ 2. 65 cm for horizontal distance.
Conclusion: When post-hemiplegic shoulder subluxation measurements exceed the above-mentioned cut-off points in physical or radiographic examinations, further ultrasound evaluation for soft-tissue injury is recommended.

Lay Abstract


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