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Frozen Shoulder
Adhesive capsulitis is the medical term for a frozen shoulder, which can be caused due to a variety of reasons. Scar tissues can grow in the shoulder joint when the said joint becomes thicker. This development keeps the shoulder from rotating in a normal manner, which can lead to a frozen shoulder. The most common symptoms of this condition include severe pain and stiffness as well as inflammation. Here are the causes and ways to treat this condition.

Causes -
A frozen shoulder can be caused due to a sports injury as well as an accident. Also, a hormonal imbalance can cause this condition. A weak immune system may cause inflammation in various joints of the body, which makes motion difficult. Also, diabetes can give rise to a frozen shoulder as a side effect. If you have a sedentary lifestyle and do not exercise often enough, or have just been through surgery which has led to a prolonged period of inactivity, then you can be prone to this condition. Surgery will also leave your tissue and adhesions sensitive to inflammation. Scar tissue may end up forming in very extreme cases, over a period of at least nine months. This can limit your motion.

Risk Factors -
Besides diabetes, hormonal changes and inactivity, people who have been through a stroke or surgery are most susceptible to this condition. Also, patients who are suffering from thyroid disorders can end up developing a frozen shoulder too.

Physical Therapy -
One of the most recommended ways to deal with this condition is with physical therapy. This kind of therapy will help you in stretching your shoulder so that you get back some motion over a period of time. This process can take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months, depending on the severity of your condition. You must ask your doctor about other treatment options if this kind of therapy does not show results even after six months of intense and regular practice. Physical therapy can also be practiced at home, once you have learnt the technique from a physiotherapist.

Medication -
One of the other ways to deal with a frozen shoulder is with the help of medication. Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving medicines can soothe the discomfort. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, as well as naproxen sodium. Also, if you are undergoing a lot of pain, the doctor can administer a steroid injection in the shoulder joint.

Surgery -
If medication and physical therapy do not help in treating the condition effectively, then one can go in for an arthroscopic surgery to remove the scar tissue with a small incision and other kinds of surgery for breaking the adhesions as well.

Posted by Dr. Shekhar Srivastav

Frozen Shoulder Arthroscopic Management

Shoulder Anatomy-
Shoulder is the most mobile joint of the body so that you can use your arm and hand in wide variety of position. Shoulder is a ball & socket type of joint where the ball is present at the top of humerus( arm bone) & the socket is present in scapula (shoulder blade). The shoulder joint is covered with loose bag like capsule and is stabilized by muscles & ligaments.

What is Frozen Shoulder(adhesive capsulitis)?
Frozen Shoulder is a condition which involves inflammation of the joint capsule which subsequently becomes contracted. This causes pain & Stiffness of the shoulder joint. The patient complains of acute pain on movement of the shoulder which frequently disturbs his sleep too.

What is the cause of Frozen Shoulder?
Frozen shoulder can be secondary to trauma or surgery but in most cases the cause is unknown. This is found more commonly in patients who are diabetic, hypothyroid & cardiac patients. It is mostly seen in persons between 40-60 yrs of age & in approximately 10% of cases it can affect the other shoulder too.
What are the treatment options?
Frozen Shoulder has an initial painful phase and delayed stiffness phase. It can take 6-12 months to resolve completely. The treatment in initial painful phase is to administer anti-inflammatory drugs, Ice packs or hot fomentation and sometimes injections in the joint to relieve pain. The patient requires exercises & physiotherapy to stretch the capsule to gain movements.
Is there any role of surgery for frozen Shoulder?
In rare cases when the patient's pain and stiffness doesn't improve despite medicines and physiotherapy for a reasonable period of time, surgery is indicated. This is done by Arthroscopy( keyhole surgery) where the contracted capsule is released or excised and the joint is stretched in some directions to gain movement.

Call your Surgeon for further details

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