Scientific/Clinical Article| Volume 34, ISSUE 4, P543-548, October 2021

Concurrent musculoskeletal complaints in elbows, shoulders, and necks after common hand and forearm injuries or conditions: A cross-sectional study among 600 patients

Published:September 03, 2020DOI:


      • Prevalence of concurrent MSCs in patients with hand/forearm injury or condition.
      • The prevalence of concurrent MSCs in elbows, shoulders, and necks was 40% in this population.
      • More than one in four patients developed MSCs after their hand/forearm injury or condition.
      • Clinicians should be aware of the high prevalence of concurrent MSCs.


      Study design

      This is a cross-sectional study among 600 patients.


      Isolated hand and forearm injuries or conditions are common in the emergency and orthopedic departments. So far, little is known about whether these patients suffer from concurrent musculoskeletal complaints (MSCs) besides their hand and forearm complaints. Neglecting concurrent MSCs in the upper limbs and necks could hamper rehabilitation and prolong the time taken to return to daily and work-related activities.

      Purpose of the study

      The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of concurrent MSCs in the elbow, shoulder, and neck after common hand and/or forearm injuries or conditions.


      This study included 600 patients with any type of diagnosis referred to rehabilitation after hand and/or forearm injuries or conditions. Basic characteristics, diagnoses, and location of patients' symptoms were collected and analyzed.


      The overall prevalence of concurrent MSCs was 40%. Twenty-eight percent of the whole sample developed concurrent MSCs after the hand and forearm injury or condition. The gender distribution was 68% women and 32% men. The most common location for complaints was the shoulder (62%), followed by the elbow (49%), and the neck (32%).


      The present results suggest that MSCs from the elbows, shoulders, or necks are very common in patients with hand and/or forearm injuries or conditions.


      Clinicians treating patients with isolated hand and forearm injuries or conditions should be aware of the high prevalence of concurrent MSCs. Future research should investigate if specific rehabilitation, focusing on concurrent MSCs, may influence the outcome in this population.


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      JHT Read for Credit

      Quiz: # 792

      Record your answers on the Return Answer Form found on the tear-out coupon at the back of this issue or to complete online and use a credit card, go to There is only one best answer for each question.
      • # 1.
        The prevalence of concurrent MSCs was
        • a.
        • b.
        • c.
        • d.
      • # 2.
        The occurrence of concurrent MSCs was
        • a.
          more prevalent in females
        • b.
          more prevalent in males
        • c.
          was essentially the same in men and women
        • d.
          was virtually non-existent in football players
      • # 3.
        The most common region for a concurrent MSC was the
        • a.
        • b.
        • c.
        • d.
      • # 4.
        Inclusion in the study as a patient with concurrent MSC was determined through
        • a.
          a computer model specifically designed for this investigation
        • b.
          a physical examination by the referring physician
        • c.
          an interview of the patient
        • d.
          a committee vote
      • # 5.
        The authors present data showing that focusing on the concurrent MSC will significantly improve the outcome in most cases of isolated hand injuries
        • a.
        • b.
      When submitting to the HTCC for re-certification, please batch your JHT RFC certificates in groups of 3 or more to get full credit.