The frozen shoulder: myths and realities

Open Orthop J. 2013 Sep 6:7:352-5. doi: 10.2174/1874325001307010352. eCollection 2013.


Frozen shoulder is a common, disabling but self-limiting condition, which typically presents in three stages and ends in resolution. Frozen shoulder is classified as primary (idiopathic) or secondary cases. The aetiology for primary frozen shoulder remains unknown. It is frequently associated with other systemic conditions, most commonly diabetes mellitus, or following periods of immobilisation e.g. stroke disease. Frozen shoulder is usually diagnosed clinically requiring little investigation. Management is controversial and depends on the phase of the condition. Non-operative treatment options for frozen shoulder include analgesia, physiotherapy, oral or intra-articular corticosteroids, and intra-articular distension injections. Operative options include manipulation under anaesthesia and arthroscopic release and are generally reserved for refractory cases.

Keywords: Frozen shoulder; adhesive capsulitis; arthroscopic release.