Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder (Video Link - Stiff Shoulder Release )

‘Frozen shoulder’ is the most abused diagnosis. Literally any pain in the shoulder is labelled as ‘Frozen shoulder’, and treated with complacence as it is believed that frozen shoulder has a self-resolving course. Fact is, that a large number of painful shoulders are not frozen shoulders in the first place. There are other causes of shoulder pain which have a different course and treatment. Hence it is important to have a proper diagnosis of a case of painful shoulder.

True ‘Frozen shoulder’ is a disease of unknown reason, where the shoulder becomes painful and develops restriction of movements. A classical frozen shoulder goes through three phases – phase of pain followed by phase of stiffness followed by phase of resolution - approximately 3 months each. The treatment is essentially physiotherapy. In today’s fast world nobody has time to wait and suffer for 9 months and more. Hence we have devised a speedy recovery protocol for treatment of frozen shoulder. It consists of the following components:

  • Physiotherapy, including advanced techniques such as CPM machine. We use CPM machine liberally for mobilising these shoulders, and it works wonders.
  • Injection in the shoulder joint;  This is a well- established mode of cutting short the duration of recovery and reduce pain. Vast majority of patients with frozen shoulder respond to this treatment.
  • Mobilisation under short anaesthesia:  Some resistant cases, need mobilisation under general anaesthesia.  It is a small procedure taking 10 minutes, but has to be done under anaesthesia.
  • Arthroscopic surgery:  In some highly recalcitrant frozen shoulder, who just do not respond to above lesser interventions, arthroscopic shoulder release is required. This is a key-hole surgery, done under anaesthesia.