Diagnostic labels for rotator cuff disease

Does the use of various diagnostic labels influence the decision to undergo surgery?

Rotator cuff disease is described with a wide variety of terms. The perceived need for surgery is greatest when the term “rotator cuff tear” is used. Conversely, “bursitis” is associated with a lower perceived need for surgery.

The term "bursitis" is also associated with a lower need for imaging, while the opposite is the case for “subacromial impingement syndrome”.

Therefore, the researchers recommend that these two terms associated with increased need for surgery and imaging are avoided when dealing with patients with rotator cuff disease.


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