Arthrographic distension of the shoulder joint in the management of frozen shoulder

Mymensingh Med J. 2005 Jan;14(1):67-70.


The study was an open randomized controlled trial to compare the outcome at 8 weeks with two different modalities in the treatment of 'Frozen shoulder'. Clinical cases with painful limitation of movement of shoulder were randomized to receive physical therapies alone versus physical therapies and shoulder arthrography with intra-articular steroid in a sequential randomization process. Cases suspected of having a concomitant illness and has potential to cause secondary frozen shoulder were excluded, such as, history of trauma to shoulder over the last 6 months, symptomatic clinical cervical degenerative diseases, and causes in and around the shoulder (infective and non-infective). Physical Therapies provided to all patients were therapeutic exercises, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and infra-red radiation (IRR). Outcome measures were improvement of pain on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score and range of motion measured by Goniometer at 8 weeks. Patients were followed weekly for 8 weeks and outcome parameters were recorded on every evaluation. The baseline range of motion in the two groups was comparable. At 8 weeks a statistically significant difference in outcome were observed in the two groups. The chi-square means difference of improvement in range of motion for abduction was p <0.00 and for external rotation was p <0. 00. The pain reduction on VAS score was not significant in the two groups (p <0. 40). In the present small series, the distension arthrography with intra-articular (IA) steroid plus physical therapy was superior over physical therapy alone in the functional improvement of the frozen shoulder. Further studies with larger sample size are required to confirm the observations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthrography
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Joint Diseases / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Shoulder Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Shoulder Pain / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Pain / etiology
  • Shoulder Pain / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones