Frozen shoulder: a long-term prospective study

Ann Rheum Dis. 1984 Jun;43(3):361-4. doi: 10.1136/ard.43.3.361.


As the natural history of frozen shoulder is poorly documented, a prospective study of 40 patients followed up for 40-48 months (mean 44 months) is described. The range of movement was significantly less than age- and sex-matched controls. Objective restriction was severe in five patients and mild in a further 11. Patients were often unaware that shoulder range was impaired. Dominant arm involvement, manual labour, and mobilisation physiotherapy were associated with a less satisfactory outcome. We conclude that, while objective restriction persists, there is little functional impairment in the late stage of frozen shoulder.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement
  • Occupations
  • Pain
  • Periarthritis / diagnosis*
  • Periarthritis / physiopathology
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Shoulder Joint* / physiopathology