DM is associated with various musculoskeletal manifestations. The strength of this relationship varies among the various musculoskeletal disorders; the associations are based mostly on epidemiologic data. For most of these conditions, definitive pathophysiologic correlates are lacking.Hand and shoulder disorders occur more frequently than other musculoskeletal manifestations of DM. Recognition of the association between DM and shoulder adhesive capsulitis, DD, and stenosing flexor tenosynovitis facilitates their correct diagnosis in the setting of DM and prompt initiation of appropriate treatment, which may include optimizing glycemic control. Conversely, awareness and identification of the characteristic musculoskeletal manifestations of DM may facilitate earlier diagnosis of DM and initiation of glucose-lowering therapy to retard the development of diabetic complications.Much less has been published about the musculoskeletal complications of DM than about its micro- and macrovascular complications. Prospective case-control cohort studies are needed to establish the true prevalence of musculoskeletal complications of DM and the metabolic syndrome, especially in this era of tighter glycemic control.The potential relationship between DM and the development of OA needs to be clarified in large, prospective, case-control cohort studies. The effect on musculoskeletal manifestations of various therapeutic regimens to manage DM should be studied prospectively. Treatment regimens for some musculoskeletal conditions associated with DM, such as DISH, should be studied in larger prospective, randomized,controlled clinical trials.At the molecular level, further studies are warranted to clarify the potential contribution of AGEs and adipokines to the development of OA and diabetic musculoskeletal syndromes, such as shoulder adhesive capsulitis, DD, stenosing flexor tenosynovitis, and LJM. Identification of such molecular targets for therapy would promote the development of additional treatments for these and other rheumatic diseases.
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