Orcadian rhythm of the shoulder skin temperature was studied in 21 shoulders of 20 patients with rotator cuff tears (average age, 58 years) and 4 shoulders of 4 patients with rotator cuff tendinitis (average age, 34 years). Fourteen of the 23 uninvolved shoulders with no abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging were also studied as normal shoulders. With a portable thermometer with the probes attached to the anterior surface of both shoulders, the skin temperature was recorded every 5 minutes from 1:00 PM to 9:00 AM (20 hours). Both the normal and cuff tear shoulders showed a similar circadian rhythm with the temperature at night significantly lower than the temperature during the daytime (P < .0001). On the other hand, the tendinitis shoulders did not show this arcadian rhythm; the temperature did not change significantly through the range of measurement. We conclude that the skin temperature shows a circadian rhythm in normal shoulders, and this rhythm may be affected by certain pathologic conditions of the shoulder.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine