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Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a condition that limits shoulder movements because of pain and inflammation. It is also called adhesive capsulitis and may progress to where an individual may find it very hard to move the shoulder. It is more common in older adults aged between 40 and 60 years and is more common in women than men.

Frozen shoulder is caused by inflammation of the ligaments holding the shoulder bones to each other. The shoulder capsule becomes thick, tight, and stiff bands of tissue called adhesions may develop. Individuals with shoulder injury, shoulder surgeries, shoulder immobilized for long periods of time, other disease conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson’s disease and cardiac diseases are at risk of developing frozen shoulder.

Frozen shoulder may cause pain and stiffness and limit the movements of shoulder. Condition can be diagnosed by the presenting symptoms and radiological diagnostic procedures such as X-rays or MRI scans. Treatment for frozen shoulder includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections for pain, treatment of underlying risk factors, and shoulder arthroscopy surgery. During surgery, the scar tissue will be removed and tight ligaments, if any, will be dissected. Following surgery physical therapy will be advised to bring full range of motion and strengthen the muscles.

  • duke-john-kelly
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Orange County Medical Association