If you are having this problem, you may have a condition known as adhesive capsulitis, also known as a “frozen shoulder”. With this condition, patients will complain of pain and progressive loss of motion over weeks or months. It occurs more often in women and can be associated with diabetes and thyroid disorders. Also, this condition occurs most often as an idiopathic cause (no obvious inciting event), as a post-traumatic cause (such as a fracture leading to diminished motion), or as a post-surgical cause (loss of motion after shoulder surgery).
The cause is overactive scar cells (fibroblasts) in the capsule of the shoulder joint, which can lead to a thickened and contracted shoulder capsule creating diminished motion. The treatment is initially conservative and entails non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen), a steroid injection in the shoulder, and physical therapy. If conservative treatment fails, then a manipulation of the shoulder under anesthesia is considered.
This can also include the use of a shoulder arthroscopy, where the surgeon
arthroscopically releases (cuts) the scarred capsule. Most of the time, nonoperative
treatment is successful. But if it is not, surgical treatment generally leads to a successful outcome.
If you have any bone or joint questions for Dr. Stonnington, submit to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Stonnington is an accomplished and experienced primary and revision joint replacement surgeon who specializes in robotic joint replacements and minimally invasive, muscle sparing total hip arthroplasties. In addition, he is one of the few orthopedic surgeons in Mississippi proficient in pelvic and acetabular fracture repairs/reconstructions.