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Kenneth Chance-Larsen

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Ultrasound evaluation of Achilles tendon thickness in asymptomatic’-s: A reliability study.

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Background: Achilles tendon disorders are among the most common maladies encountered in sports medicine. Increased tendon thickness is considered to be a risk factor for Achilles tendon disorders. Ultrasonography is currently the modality of choice that best demonstrate the Achilles tendon abnormalities. This study investigated Intra-rater reliability of ultrasound in Achilles tendon thickness measurements among asymptomatic’-s, performed by a qualified physiotherapist with limited ultrasound training.

Method: A test retest reliability design was used. 25 healthy participants were recruited from Sheffield Hallam University. Achilles tendon thickness measurements were performed on two occasions, approximately 30 minutes apart; by the same rater, under same testing conditions.

Results: The Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for intra-rater reliability was found be excellent (ICC =0.935; 95% confidence interval, 0.88-0.96).
Implications: Ultrasound can be used in the field of physiotherapy as a clinical tool for prevention, assessment and monitoring rehabilitation of athletes.

Conclusion: Ultrasound evaluation of Achilles tendon thickness can be reliably performed by a qualified physiotherapist with limited ultrasound training. Further research is required to investigate inter rater reliability and among different patient populations with proper US training.

A case of long thoracic nerve palsy

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A 31 year old male developed unilateral neck pain associated with increased kyphotic posture 24 hours after having general anaesthesia for ankle surgery. The pain and postural adaptation resolved, but a painless shoulder dysfunction developed. Following assessment a provisional diagnosis of long thoracic nerve palsy was made, and a ‘wait and see’ approach to management was taken. The dysfunction gradually resolved over a 12 month period without further investigation or intervention. The case study is discussed in light of possible neurophysiological mechanisms involved and of published literature on the management of long thoracic nerve palsy.

Quality appraisal as part of the systematic review: a review of current methods

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Systematic reviews frequently underpin national and international practice guidelines. Different approaches to the systematic review process, in particular quality appraisal, have been advocated. This paper discusses these approaches and highlights possible limitations which might impact upon the validity of the conclusions drawn. Practical alternatives are offered upon which systematic reviews may be appraised and conducted.

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