Frozen Shoulder/ Stiff Shoulder


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    Frozen Shoulder/ Stiff Shoulder

    Suffering from swelling or stiffness at your shoulders? If you are suffering from this problem, then you might have frozen shoulders. Feel free to book an appointment online to get treated by one of the best orthopaedic doctors.

    Dr. Aditya Sai

    MS, DNB (Orthopaedics)

    Frozen Shoulder/ Stiff Shoulder

    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.

    The most pervasive sign or symptom of frozen shoulder is a persistently painful and stiff shoulder joint. Signs and symptoms of frozen shoulder develop gradually; usually in three stages in which signs and symptoms worsen gradually and resolve within a two – year period.

    Treatment options for frozen shoulder include:

    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.

    Capsular Release

    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.

    Why Choose Us?

    Dr. Aditya Sai is a renowned surgical orthopedic doctor practising in Mumbai. He has 15+ years of experience, with 10+ years of specialization in Shoulder Surgery, Knee & Hip Arthroscopy And Joint Preservation.


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