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Frozen shoulder

Hannafin, Jo A. MD, PhD; Strickland, Sabrina M. MD

Current Opinion in Orthopaedics: August 2000 - Volume 11 - Issue 4 - pp 271-275

Adhesive capsulitis is a condition that has an unknown etiology and is often marked by an insidious onset of pain and progressive restriction of range of motion. Recent reports suggest that adhesive capsulitis may be caused by biochemical changes in the joint capsule resulting in progressive fibrosis and motion loss. Historically, the diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis has been a clinical one, characterized by loss of active and passive glenohumeral motion. Current research using magnetic resonance imaging and arthrography may provide clinicians with additional data on which to base their diagnoses. Treatment protocols vary from benign neglect to supervised physical therapy, intra-articular corticosteroid administration, and early surgical intervention. Recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of the frozen shoulder are reviewed.

Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York, USA

Correspondence to Jo A. Hannafin, MD, PhD, Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021, USA; e-mail:

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.