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   FROZEN SHOULDER                                       KANDILNOTES                                                


  • Frozen shoulder, aka lateral epicondylitis, is an inflammatory process that involves inflammation and shrinking of the shoulder joint capsule

  • Frozen shoulder affects patients of all ages, but is more common in females between the ages of 40-60

  • It is characterized by three stages: Freezing, Frozen, and Thawing

  • The entire process can last between 2-18 months

  • It is a very frustrating disease process as interventions are limited and the length of the disease process is longer than most other orthopedic issues

  • Frozen shoulder in one shoulder may predispose you to developing the problem in the other shoulder 


  • The exact pathophysiology is unknown

  • Risk factors include diabetes and thyroid problems

  • It is thought to be triggered by an injury that snowballs into an inflammatory process, however many cases occur insidiously without any known or obvious cause


  • Frozen shoulder is characterized by shoulder pain and stiffness

  • Range of motion is significantly limited

  • Pain is often present at all times, including sleep, but is usually worse with activities


  • Most cases of frozen resolve without any surgical intervention

  • Gentle passive range of motion and stretching program is the bedrock of treatment for frozen shoulder. The goal is to maintain motion and avoid further stiffness and pain

  • Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen can be helpful in decreasing inflammation

  • Electrical stimulation has been shown to be helpful in some cases although evidence is sparse

  • Shoulder steroid injections can help decrease inflammation and pain in the shoulder joint

  • Surgery is reserved for cases that don’t improve after 6 months of conservative management if symptoms are significantly affecting activities of daily living and quality of life. Surgery is composed of an arthroscopic lysis of adhesions and manipulation under anesthesia


  • For patients with diabetes or thyroid issues, managing their glucose or thyroid hormone levels is very important

  • Maintaining a shoulder stretching and mobility program as part of your daily routine may decrease the chance of developing frozen shoulder

  • Avoiding traumatic injuries can help manage shoulder inflammation and lower risk of frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder capture 2.webp
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