Also known as Adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder most frequently occurs without any specific cause but can be associated with an injury, fracture, rotator cuff tears, after surgery and is more common in diabetic patients. Most times, the treatment is non operative with use of anti-inflammatories, pain killers and modifying one's lifestyle. A cortisone injection can be extremely effective. The condition will usually resolve on its own in 18-24 months. In a small number of cases, these measures do not relieve one's symptoms. On these occasions, surgery can be considered on an elective basis. There are 2 procedures:
- Manipulation under Anaesthesia (+/- hydrodilatation and injection of cortisone). I've found this to be a highly effective treatment with minimal down time and extremely satisfying results.
- Arthroscopic Capsular release. This can be performed in recalcitrant cases of frozen shoulder. It is also frequently necessary to be performed during routine rotator cuff surgery as many patients will often have a degree of capsulitis in conjunction with their tears.