Shoulder pain and functional disability in spinal cord injury patients

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1991 Nov;(272):141-5.


Sixty spinal cord injured patients were examined to determine the incidence of nontraumatic shoulder pain and associated functional disability during the first 18 months after spinal cord injury (SCI). Seventy-eight percent of quadriplegics and 35% of paraplegics had pain in the first six months. When reexamined six to 18 months after SCI, 33% of the quadriplegics and 35% of the paraplegics continued to have pain. The functional disability resulting from shoulder pain was not a significant problem for the paraplegics; however, 84% of the quadriplegics having pain had either moderate or severe functional disability during the first six months after SCI, and this impairment persisted in patients with shoulder spasticity at follow-up evaluation between six and 18 months postinjury.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Spasticity / etiology
  • Muscle Spasticity / physiopathology
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Paraplegia / complications
  • Quadriplegia / complications
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Shoulder*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications*