Frozen shoulder, more formally known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition in which the shoulder becomes stiff, painful, and extremely difficult to move. It is most common in middle-aged women.
The shoulder has ligaments connecting the shoulder bones to one another. In frozen shoulder, these ligaments become inflamed, and adhesions or stiff bands of tissue can develop. While frozen shoulder can heal on its own, it can take years for it to do so. When the condition is at its worst, the patient will not be able to move the shoulder – even if another person tries to help.
While the causes of frozen shoulder are not fully understood, doctors have noted that people who have had to have their shoulder immobilized due to injury and/or surgery are more likely to develop the condition than the general population. People with diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, thyroid disease, and heart disease are also more susceptible to frozen shoulder.
How is the Condition Treated?
There are several different treatment options for frozen shoulder. If the patient has a known risk factor, like diabetes, it is important to treat that. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to frozen shoulder, but the recovery tends to take longer as well.
The doctor will tend to start with non-surgical treatments like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. We may also administer steroid injections to relieve the pain.
If such treatments don’t work, the doctor will perform a surgery called shoulder arthroscopy, during which tightened ligaments are accessed and any scar tissue is removed. Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally-invasive procedure, and the patient can usually go home on the same day.
The arthroscope is a tiny instrument with a light and video camera attached to it. The camera is attached to a view screen that enables the surgeon to see the damaged parts of the patient’s shoulder.
Contact Us Today
If you have frozen shoulder, don’t delay your treatment. Make an appointment at Olsen Orthopedics in Oklahoma City and learn more about your options. Dr. Olsen is a renowned shoulder and knee doctor and is happy to serve clients in OKC and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to book a consultation!