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Treatment of Adhesive Capsulitis of the Shoulder

Redler, Lauren H. MD; Dennis, Elizabeth R. MS, MD

JAAOS - Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: June 15, 2019 - Volume 27 - Issue 12 - p e544–e554
doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-17-00606
Review Article

Adhesive capsulitis presents clinically as limited, active and passive range of motion caused by the formation of adhesions of the glenohumeral joint capsule. Radiographically, it is thickening of the capsule and rotator interval. The pathology of the disease, and its classification, relates to inflammation and formation of extensive scar tissue. Risk factors include diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and previous cervical spine surgery. Nonsurgical management includes physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, calcitonin, ultrasonography-guided hydrodissection, and hyaluronic acid injections. Most patients will see complete resolution of symptoms with nonsurgical management, and there appears to be a role of early corticosteroid injection in shortening the overall duration of symptoms. Surgical intervention, including manipulation under anesthesia, arthroscopic capsular release both limited and circumferential, and the authors' technique are described in this article. Complications include fracture, glenoid and labral injuries, neurapraxia, and rotator cuff pathology. Postoperative care should always include early physical therapy.

From the Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Orthopedics, Center for Shoulder Elbow and Sports Medicine, New York, NY.

Neither of the following authors nor any immediate family member has received anything of value from or has stock or stock options held in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article: Dr. Redler and Dr. Dennis.

© 2019 by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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