(HealthDay News) — For patients with acute shoulder pain, ultrasound imaging can be used by primary care physicians to rationalize treatment, according to a study published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Ramon P.G. Ottenheijm, MD, from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a prospective observational study involving 129 patients with acute shoulder pain in whom the family physician suspected rotator cuff disease. The participants, aged 18–65 years, underwent ultrasound imaging.

The researchers found that 81% of patients had rotator cuff disease and 50% had multiple disorders. The most frequently diagnosed specific disorder was calcific tendonitis. The strongest correlation with rotator cuff disease was an age of ≥40 years.

“Ultrasound imaging enables family physicians to rationalize treatment in nearly all patients who are aged ≥40 years with acute shoulder pain,” the authors write.

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