What is Adhesive Capsulitis?
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. The ball (head of the humerus) sits in the socket (the glenoid fossa). Adhesive capsulitis, also known as frozen shoulder, occurs when the joint capsule becomes inflamed and ultimately thickened. The inflammation results in pain with movement of the shoulder and the thickening results in limited movement of the shoulder. Signs, such as, sharp pain with sudden movement or at rest, and loss of shoulder range of motion – both without any real injury are the hallmarks of frozen shoulder. It is more common in diabetics, females between 40-70, and those with thyroid disorders. Treatment is usually non-operative and consists of months physical therapy and stretching, possibly injections, and anti-inflammatory medications. If surgery is needed, it is done arthroscopically as an out-patient procedure.