This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Adhesive capsulitis (shoulder)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

First introduced by Codman in 1934, the term 'frozen shoulder' describes a glenohumeral disorder characterised by shoulder pain or limitations, or both on active and passive elevation and external rotation (1).

  • the condition is also known as adhesive capsulitis
  • commonly seen in people who are in their 50s

The pathophysiology of the condition is unknown.

  • thought to result from fibrosis and thickening of the joint capsule and adherence to the humeral head
  • can occur in one shoulder or both shoulders simultaneously.
    • non-dominant shoulder is slightly more likely to be affected (2)

Frozen shoulder is a self limiting condition

  • time from onset to recovery is usually between 12 - 42 months (3)
  • nearly all patients recover, but normal range of movement may never return (2)
  • long term disability is seen in 15% of the patients (3)

Frozen shoulder can be

  • primary or idiopathic
  • secondary to another cause
    • most common association is diabetes
      • a patient with diabetes has a lifetime risk of 10%-20% of developing frozen shoulder (1)

A review notes (4):

  • diabetes patients are at higher risk of developing frozen shoulder and having bilateral symptoms than the general population
  • recovery times are variable
    • can be years, and some patients are left with residual pain or functional impairment

  • physiotherapy is the most commonly used intervention and can be supplemented by intra-articular steroid injections

  • treatments offered in secondary care include joint manipulation under anaesthesia, arthroscopic capsular release, and hydrodilatation

  • the UK FROST trial compared manipulation under anaesthetic, arthroscopic capsular release, and early structured physiotherapy with intra-articular corticosteroid injections, and found that none of the interventions were clinically superior

Reference:


Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Annotations allow you to add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation. E.g. a website or number. This information will always show when you visit this page.

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

Connect

Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.