Frozen shoulder


Also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a common condition in which the articular shoulder capsule (a sac of ligaments surrounding the joint) swells and stiffens, restricting its mobility. It typically affects only one shoulder, but one in five cases affect both.

The term “frozen shoulder” is often used incorrectly and misdiagnosed when arthritis , rotator cuff tears are mistaken for this condition.

The shoulder has a spheroidal joint (ball – and – socket joint), in which the round part of one bone fits into the concavity of another. The proximal humerus (round head of the upper arm bone) fits into socket of the scapula (shoulder blade). Frozen shoulder is thought to cause the formation of scar tissue in the shoulder, which makes the shoulder joint’s capsule (not to be confused with the rotator cuff) thicken and tighten, leaving less room for movement. Therefore, movement may be stiff and even painful.

Frozen shoulder is a condition that commonly occurs in people between 40 and 60 years of age. Women tend to suffer with frozen shoulder more than men.

Age – being over 40 years of age.

Gender – 70% of people with frozen shoulder are women.

Recent surgery or arm fracture – immobility of recovery may cause the shoulder capsule to stiffen.

Diabetes – two to four times more likely to develop frozen shoulder for unknown reasons; symptoms may be more severe.

Having suffered a stroke. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

Cardiovascular disease (heart disease).

Parkinson’s disease.


Treatment options


Alternating between hot and cold compression packs can help with frozen shoulder

Painkillers – relieve symptoms of pain. Nonsteroidal anti – inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)painkillers and may reduce inflammation of the shoulder in addition to alleviating mild pain. be sure to review options with your doctor.

Exercise – frequent, gentle exercise can prevent and even reverse stiffness in the shoulder.

Hot or cold compression packs – help to reduce pain and swelling. It is often helpful to alternate between the two.

Corticosteroid injections – a type of steroid hormone that reduces pain and swelling. Corticosteroids may be injected into the shoulder joint to alleviate pain, especially in the ‘painful stage’ of symptoms. However, repeated corticosteroid injections are discouraged as they could cause damage to the shoulder.

However despite these measures the shoulder may continue to be stiff and painful. The main problem associated with adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder is the morbidity, that is the time it takes to resolve ; in such cases where you desire early gain of movement and lesser morbidity an arthroscopic procedure called capsular release is advisable.

A small endoscope (tube) is inserted through a small incision into the shoulder joint to remove any scar tissue or adhesions. The shoulder movement is aggressively initiated after the surgery and patients generally have excellent symptom resolution.

Your doctor will suggest a suitable option depending on the severity of your signs and symptoms. If you experience stiffness in the shoulder joint it is recommended that you seek medical attention sooner rather than later in order to prevent permanent stiffness.

Post Arthroscopic Release

 Before Surgery