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Dear Sir - I read the Editorial on shoulder pain (BMJ 13th January
2001) with dismay and anger. Shoulder pain is NOT a diagnosis. The BMJ
has produced previous articles on shoulder pain. (BMJ 1998; 317: 1292-1296
& BMJ 1998; 316: 354-360 & BMJ 1997; 314: 1320 & BMJ 1997;
315: 25-30) This is despite the call for clearer diagnoses by Szebenyi
and Dieppe (BMJ 1998; 316: 1676)
Shoulder pain is a symptom which has many causes. It is as meaningful to
discuss shoulder pain as to discuss leg pain. The production of papers
such as these on symptoms illustrates the need for musculo-skeletal
disease to be taught properly to undergraduates and to trainee General
Practitioners. The BMJ should be setting an example not perpetuating
misinformation and bad medicine.
LOUIS DELISS F.R.C.S.
Hand, Upper Limb and Orthopaedic Surgeon.
Suffolk IP13 6PH