UMEM Educational Pearls

Adhesive Capsulitis -- Frozen Shoulder

  1. Characterized by pain and loss of motion or stiffness in the shoulder.Normally not seen below the age of 40, affects ~2% of the population and diabetics are at increased risk.
  2. Due to thickening and contracture of the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint.
  3. Can occur after trauma to the shoulder if the shoulder is not moved early enough, but is also know to occur idiopathically.
  4. X-rays are only helpful to rule out other causes of the shoulder pain and are typically normal in Adhesive capsulitis.
  5. Typically will get better on its own over 2-3 years.
    1. Physical Therapy and home exercises aimed at restoring ROM can shorten the duration of pain and stiffness.
    2. Surgery can be done if there is no improvement with medical management and physical therapy.
  6. Prevention strategies include early ROM exercises in those with shoulder injuries especially in the elderly diabetic.