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Open Access Research article

Upper limb musculoskeletal abnormalities in type 2 diabetic patients in low socioeconomic strata in Pakistan

Saera Suhail Kidwai1*, Lubna Wahid1, Shaista A Siddiqi1, Rashid M khan2, Ishaq Ghauri1 and Ishaque Sheikh1

Author Affiliations

1 Jinnah Medical College Hospital, SR-6, Sector 7-A, Korangi Industrial Area, Karachi, 75440, Pakistan

2 MS (neuropharmacology), Karachi, Pakistan

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BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:16  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-16

Published: 17 January 2013



Musculoskeletal manifestations of diabetes in the upper limb are well recognized. No data has been available in this regard from Pakistan. Our aim was to find out the frequency of upper limb musculoskeletal abnormalities in diabetic patients.


This was an observational study in which type 2 diabetes patients attending our diabetic clinic were enrolled along with age and gender matched controls. Data was analyzed on SPSS 16.


In total, 210 Type 2 diabetics (male 34.3%, female 65.7%) and 203 controls (male 35%, female 65%) were recruited. The mean age was 50.7± 10.2 years in diabetic group as compared to 49.5±10.6 years in the control group. The frequencies of hand region abnormalities were significantly higher in the diabetic subjects as compared to the controls (20.4%, p-value <0.001). Limited joint mobility (9.5% vs 2.5%), carpal tunnel syndrome (9% vs 2%), trigger finger (3.8% vs 0.5%), and dupuytren’s contracture (1% vs 0%) were found more frequent as compared to controls (all p-values <0.05). In the shoulder region of diabetic subjects, adhesive capsulitis and tendonitis was found in 10.9% and 9.5% respectively as compared to 2.5% and 2% in control group [p- value <0.001]. A weak but positive relationship was observed between age and duration of diabetes with these upper limb abnormalities. However, no correlation was found between the frequencies of these abnormalities with control of diabetes.


A higher frequency of upper limb musculoskeletal abnormalities was observed in Type 2 diabetic patients as compared to control group.

Type 2 Diabètes mellitus; Adhesive capsulitis; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Dupuytren’s contracture; Trigger finger; Pakistan