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Frozen Shoulder

Also called adhesive capsulitis or pericapsulitis, frozen shoulder can occur after any cause of shoulder pain that leads an affected individual to limit the motion of the shoulder because of pain.

Frozen shoulder is a common and often overlooked diagnosis in patients with diabetes.

With little movement, the shoulder joint capsule and surrounding structures contract, making the range of motion physically restricted in addition to being painful. Arthrography shows decreased volume of the joint capsule. It is rarely seen before age 40 years. The process typically has three phases, Phase I: increasing pain and stiffness for 2 to 9 months, Phase II: substantial stiffness but less pain for 4 to 12 months, Phase III: pain resolves and function is gradually restored over 5 to 26 months

Treatment consists of NSAIDs, supervised physical therapy, and a single intraarticular corticosteroid injection. Physical therapy must be supervised because the patient will not be successful on his own. Viscosupplementation has been reported to be beneficial. Rarely surgical intervention is necessary.




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Schulthess-klinik (German) (German)

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