Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)
What is Frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder, also called Adhesive Capsulitis, it is a condition characterised by pain and loss of motion in the shoulder joint. It is more common from middle age and more common in women than men.
What causes Frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder is caused by inflammation of the capsule along with the ligaments of the shoulder. This inflammation causes pain. With the inflammation the capsule and ligaments become thick. These thickened structures are less elastic and hence leads to shoulder stiffness.
Adhesive Capsulitis can be spontaneous or triggered by an injury or surgery. You may me predisposed to developing a Frozen shoulder if you suffer from Diabetes or Thyroid disease.
What are the symptoms of Frozen shoulder?
The initial “Freezing” phase of a Frozen shoulder is highlighted by pain primarily and then stiffness. With the “Frozen” phase the pain improves but the stiffness is still quite bad. Finally, the “Thawing” phase involves the stiffness finally improving.
A Frozen shoulder can be diagnosed primarily by symptoms and radiological investigations such as Ultrasound or MRI scans.
How do you treat Adhesive Capsulitis?
The good news is that Frozen shoulders will usually get better by themselves. The bad news is that this may take 6-24 months.
Non operative treatment includes:
Surgery in the Frozen phase may be contemplated in severe cases. This involves an arthroscopic release and division of the thickened capsule and ligaments followed by a manipulation. During the surgery you will obtain full movement of your shoulder. Following surgery you will need to undergo Physiotherapy to ensure you keep this range of motion. Within 2-4 weeks most of your movement would have returned.
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