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Study: extra physiotherapy no better than self-management for shoulder dislocation

Not everyone who suffers a shoulder dislocation needs an extra physiotherapy programme, an NIHR-supported study found.

Researchers in the ARTISAN study compared self-management advice from a physiotherapist, such as education and home exercises, with the same advice plus extra physiotherapy.

They found that both groups had similar shoulder function, the ability to carry out everyday tasks, after 6 months and a similar number of complications after 12 months.

The findings show that not everyone with a shoulder dislocation needs an extra physiotherapy programme, as long as there is a way for people to self-refer if they are not recovering as expected.

The study was carried out at 40 UK hospitals with 482 people who had a single dislocated shoulder for the first time, including 18 at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, 41 at Milton Keynes Hospital and 14 at Reading’s Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Read more about the results at the NIHR Evidence website.