Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis is a common cause of shoulder pain and stiffness that commonly affects patients above the age of 40.
The shoulder joint is normally covered by a thin capsule. When this capsule gets inflamed, it causes shoulder pain which is aggravated by movement. Over time, the inflammation resolves along with the pain.
The inflammation however, causes the capsule thicken and results in the shoulder movement being severely restricted. One may find difficulty raising ones arm above ones head or reaching up ones back.
Fortunately, this usually resolves with time. It normally takes 12 to 18 months to recover. People with diabetes or thyroid problems may be prone to getting frozen shoulder.
One can also develop frozen shoulder after sustaining some injury to the shoulder. In some cases however, the cause of the frozen shoulder cannot be identified.
Treatment for frozen shoulder usually involves painkillers in the early painful phase, followed by physiotherapy to improve the shoulder flexibility and function.
In some cases, a steroid injection into the shoulder joint may help to alleviate the pain and improve the shoulder function.
rozen shoulder that does not resolve adequately with time may benefit from a minor surgical procedure. Once anaesthetized, the shoulder can be manipulated to free up the scarred capsular tissue.
Another option is to do a more controlled surgical release of the joint where the thickened capsule of the joint is cut in a keyhole operation.
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