Frozen Shoulder

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Frozen Shoulder is a condition also known as adhesive capsulitis. Inflammation in the shoulder joint capsule and ligaments mean that patients who suffer with this develop increasing pain and stiffness until they are unable to move their shoulder.


The exact cause of frozen shoulder is not fully understood but it is thought to be associated with trauma, surgery, and other medical conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disease. 

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder

There are three recognised stages of frozen shoulder:

  1. Painful stage: Dull aching pain, sleep disturbance

  2. Frozen stage (pain improves but stiffness increases)

  3. Thawing stage (symptoms resolve)

Frozen shoulder is typically self-limiting and does get better, but may take up to two years to resolve. 


Treatment of Frozen Shoulder

It may take a long time for significant improvement of symptoms. During this time non-surgical treatment options can help to manage the pain and reduce the stiffness. Physiotherapy can help maintain flexibility and muscle strength. 


Surgery is rarely required but a manipulation under anaesthesia(MUA) or an arthroscopic (key-hole) capsular release can be performed in cases that do not improve. If these procedures are carried out it is very important to start your physiotherapy exercises on the same day. 



Surrey Orthopaedic Clinic 

Shoulder & Elbow Specialists:

Mr Ali Narvani

Mr Ioannis Polyzois

For advice or to book an appointment with an orthopaedic expert            

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