Prevalence and Risk Factors of Five Most Common Upper Extremity Disorders in Diabetics

Javad Kiani, Hamid Goharifar, Abbas Moghimbeigi, Homeyra Azizkhani


Background: In addition to macrovascular and along with other microvascular complications, diabetic patients suffer from some common musculoskeletal complications. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of five musculoskeletal disorders of upper extremity including shoulder capsulitis (SC), limited joint mobility (LJM), Dupuytren’s contracture (DC), carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), and trigger finger (TF) as well as identify their related risk factors in diabetic patients.

Methods: We recruited 432 types 1 or 2 diabetic patients and evaluated them for the presence of musculoskeletal disorders and their-related risk factors in 2012-13. The patients were examined by an endocrinologist and then suspected subjects evaluated by a rheumatologist for defining final diagnosis.

Results: The most prevalent musculoskeletal disorder of upper extremity was SC (8.79%), followed by CTS (8.56%), LJM (6.94%), DC (7.4%), and TF (6.71%). Advanced age, female sex, smoking, and duration of diabetes were associated with the appearance of SC; female sex and duration of diabetes with CTS; advanced age and smoking with LJM; advanced age, duration of diabetes and history of foot ulcer with DC; and history of laser photocoagulation was associated with TF.

Conclusions: The results show lower prevalence of upper musculoskeletal disorders and different associated risk factors in our diabetic population in comparison with previous studies on other populations.


Diabetes mellitus; Musculoskeletal disorder; Upper extremity; Prevalence

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