There’s no cure, but there are plenty of treatment options to try. At least frozen shoulder doesn’t last forever.
Frozen shoulder is one condition I dread diagnosing. Not only will your patient have to suffer a painful, debilitating condition for at least 12-18 months but it’s also a pain (literally!) to treat. The DTB have recently published a review on frozen shoulder (DTB 2015;53:90). Despite no new magic cures, it provides a useful summary of management strategies.
What is frozen shoulder?
Unfortunately there is no standard definition; whilst the term adhesive capsulitis is sometimes used interchangeably with frozen shoulder there is actually no evidence of adhesions within the shoulder capsule.
- Estimated prevalence is 8-10% working age people, most commonly age 40-60y.
- Commoner in diabetics, where it lasts longer and is often treatment resistant.
- More commonly seen after upper limb injury.
- Aetiology is unknown but appears to involve an inflammatory process followed by fibrosis.