Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 6–24 | Cite as

Treatment of Impingement Syndrome: A Systematic Review of the Effects on Functional Limitations and Return to Work

  • Elske FaberEmail author
  • Judith I. Kuiper
  • Alex Burdorf
  • Harald S. Miedema
  • Jan A. N. Verhaar

The goal of this systematic review is to evaluate the effectiveness of different treatments for impingement syndrome and rotator cuff tear on the improvement in functional limitations and concomitant duration of sick leave. A systematic search for clinical trials or controlled studies was conducted with the following text words: should*, rotator cuff, impingement, work, sick leave, disabilit*, function*. Nineteen articles were included in this review. For functional limitations, there is strong evidence that extracorporeal shock-wave therapy is not effective, moderate evidence that exercise combined with manual therapy is more effective than exercise alone, that ultrasound is not effective, and that open and arthroscopic acromioplasty are equally effective on the long term. For all other interventions there is only limited evidence. We found many studies using range of motion and pain as outcome measures but functional limitations were less often used as an outcome measure in this type of research. Duration of sick leave was seldom included as an outcome measure.


shoulder impingement syndrome functional limitations sick leave systematic review treatment outcome 



This study was financially supported by the Erasmus MC Revolving Fund and the Dutch Order of Medical Specialists.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elske Faber
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • Judith I. Kuiper
    • 1
  • Alex Burdorf
    • 2
  • Harald S. Miedema
    • 1
  • Jan A. N. Verhaar
    • 3
  1. 1.Netherlands Expert Centre for Work Related Musculoskeletal DisordersRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthRotterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryRotterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Netherlands Expert Centre for Work Related Musculoskeletal DisordersRotterdamThe Netherlands

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