Frozen Shoulder Release

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.