The shoulder is a unique anatomical structure with an extraordinary range of motion (ROM) that allows us to interact with our environment. A loss of mobility of this joint will cause significant morbidity. Adhesive capsulitis is a poorly understood musculoskeletal condition that can be disabling. Adhesive capsulitis is diagnosed by numerous physical characteristics including a thickening of the synovial capsule, adhesions within the subacromial or subdeltoid bursa, adhesions to the biceps tendon, and/or obliteration of the axillary fold secondary to adhesions.
Symptoms and signs of a frozen shoulder include pain, stiffness, and loss of range of motion of the shoulder. The shoulder range of motion is limited when either the patient or an examiner attempts to move the joint. Treatment for frozen shoulder involves range-of-motion exercises and, sometimes, corticosteroids and numbing medications injected into the joint capsule. In a small percentage of cases, arthroscopic surgery may be indicated to loosen the joint capsule so that it can move more freely.
The prevalence of frozen shoulder is estimated to be 2 to 5 percent of the general population . The condition is most common in the fifth and sixth decades of life, with the peak age in the mid-50s. Onset before the age of 40 is rare. Women are more often affected than men. The non-dominant shoulder is slightly more likely to be affected. In 6 to 17 percent of patients, the other shoulder becomes affected within five years.