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Adhesive Capsulitis

What is Adhesive Capsulitis?

Adhesive capsulitis, also called frozen shoulder, is a condition characterized by pain and loss of motion in the shoulder joint. It is more common in older adults aged between 40 and 60 years and is more common in women than men.

Causes of Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive capsulitis is caused by the inflammation of the ligaments holding the shoulder bones to each other. The shoulder capsule becomes thick, tight and stiff bands of tissue called adhesions may develop. Individuals with a shoulder injury, shoulder surgeries, shoulder immobilized for a longer period, other disease conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiac diseases are at risk of developing adhesive capsulitis.

Symptoms of Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive capsulitis may cause pain, stiffness and limit the movements of the shoulder.

Diagnosis of Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive capsulitis can be diagnosed by the presenting symptoms and radiological diagnostic procedures such as X-rays or MRI scans.

Treatment Options for Adhesive Capsulitis

Conservative Treatments for Adhesive Capsulitis

Conservative treatment options include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections to relieve pain
  • Physical therapy to improve your range of motion
  • Heat application to reduce pain

Surgery for Adhesive Capsulitis

Your surgeon may recommend shoulder arthroscopy when the conservative treatment does not work. During surgery, the scar tissue will be removed and tight ligaments, if any, will be dissected. Following surgery, physical therapy will be advised to bring a full range of motion and strengthen the muscles.

Contact Us
New Jersey Orthopaedic Institute (NJOI)
  • Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center
  • St. Joseph's Health
  • Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center
  • Chilton Medical Center