What is Frozen Shoulder?

 Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is an ailment in the shoulder that is not completely understood.  It is more common in middle aged women and those with underlying endocrine disorders like diabetes and low thyroid hormone.  The condition can occur without any known injury or activity or can be precipitated by an injury or overuse of the shoulder.  At the onset, patients often have severe pain in the shoulder but motion loss is not recognized.  As the condition progresses, shoulder motion is lost in all directions.  In the early or “freezing” phase, a steroid injection into the shoulder joint can limit the severity of pain and motion loss.  Physical therapy and home stretching exercises, along with medications are the recommended initial treatments.  For those that fail to improve with conservative treatment and in those that are not satisfied with their motion and shoulder function, a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure can be done to help patients restore motion and function.  This procedure involves surgically cutting the tight tissue and removing scar and inflamed tissue, and has a success rate of 90%.