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Frozen Shoulder

All About Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a common problem especially in the following

  1. After acute injury in a young patien
  2. In patients who are in their middle age group, these patients often suffer from Diabetes.

Patients who suffer from frozen shoulder have difficulty in over head activities. Females may find it difficult to putting the dishes away or combing hair. They also have difficulty to unhook their garments at the back. Men may have difficulty in putting away their wallet at the back pocket or wearing belt. Patients in the later stages also experience significant night pain if they lie not the involved shoulder.


Its a clinical diagnosis, and no special tests like MRI scan is required if its a chronic problem. In acute setting MRI will be required to see if other structures are injured or not.

Clinical Test: On raising both the arms in the front or on side, if one straight arm is unable to touch the ear at the end of movement then its more likely a frozen shoulder.

Frozen shoulder has 3 stages

  1. Freezing– Pain and starting of limitation of movement of the shoulder
  2. Frozen– All movements are extremely painful with hardly any movement
  3. Thawing– When the shoulder starts to loosen up

By reaching to a Orthopaedic surgeon in the Freezing state one may be able to tackle the problem and return to the normal stage much earlier


Treatment includes relief in pain and supervised shoulder therapy. Frozen shoulder does not affect the strength of the shoulder muscle. The team of orthopaedic surgeon and physiotherapist should be able to restore most of the movements if tackled at an early stage.

Steroid and local anaesthetic injections are sometimes required to give signifiant pain relief and unfreeze the shoulder at the initial stages. Thereafter, the exercises are initiated to help achieve movement. Surgery is very rarely required to treat frozen shoulder.