Frozen Shoulder

What is a frozen shoulder?

When the shoulder joint suddenly loses all its movements, the condition is called a frozen shoulder. This happens most often in diabetics, for reasons that are fully not clear. It can also occur after trauma to the upper limb, after cardiac & cancer surgeries & sometimes for unknown reasons.

What are the symptoms?

Life becomes miserable after a frozen shoulder. There is intense & unrelenting pain, especially in the night. Simple day to day activities that we take for granted like brushing teeth, combing hair, putting on a dress, driving, shaking hands etc suddenly become quite difficult. The shoulder is a god gifted joint to help position our hand in space. Activities involving movements of the hands like reaching out for objects become very difficult & painful to perform.

I heard that left alone frozen shoulder gets cured on its own, then why should I get treatment?

This statement is not fully true. Although your pain & stiffness will decrease with the passage of time, the shoulder never remains what it once was in terms of mobility. This disease robs your shoulder of active motion & it might take up-to 3-5 years for it to resolve fully.

Why should I get a steroid shot for my frozen shoulder?

Steroid shots are the mainstay in the treatment of a true frozen shoulder. 1 -2 injections given directly into the shoulder joint under local anesthesia are a proven, time tested treatment. The injections must be followed with an intensive home physiotherapy program, supervised by your doctor to allow you to regain full mobility & strength in the shoulder. If the above treatment does not work, modern arthroscopic surgery allows us to do a day care procedure called “Arthroscopic capsular release” that gives almost instant results in terms of pain relief & regaining full motion.

Note one stitch in the front & one at the back & the movement achieved on the third day after surgery.

POST-OPERATIVE Immediate exercises are instituted after the surgery to maintain the increase in motion achieved. These exercises can easily be done at home using the specially designed shoulder therapy kit (Breg). This is the text of the image box.