What is a Frozen Shoulder, and how is it treated?

If your shoulder is very stiff and painful, and you have a limited range of motion, contact your orthopedic surgeon to find out if you have a frozen shoulder.  The surgeon will have to do a physical examination of your arm and shoulder to determine if you have the condition. But what exactly is a frozen shoulder, and how is it treated?

Understanding Frozen Shoulder

Adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder or frozen shoulder is a condition in which there is a lot of pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. If left untreated it may result in the shoulder being hardly able to move.

A look at the anatomy of the shoulder will help to understand frozen shoulder. The shoulder joint is a relatively complex structure comprised of bones, tendons, and ligaments. When healthy, the upper arm bone or humerus is able to move freely, but for those with frozen shoulder syndrome, there is a severe loss of adduction and considerable pain (learn more).

Causes

The shoulder joint is protected by a thin tissue known as a capsule. There are times when the capsule swells and stiffens, and this severely restricts mobility of the shoulder joint.  The condition results in the formation of scar tissue, which causes the capsule to thicken and tighten.

Treatment

The treatment options for frozen shoulder are varied, and depend on the severity of the case. There are times when the use of painkillers along with hot and cold compress packs can adequately ease the pain and discomfort. However, minimally invasive surgery known as shoulder arthroscopy may be required in very serious cases.

For more information on what is a frozen shoulder, contact orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frank McCormick in Fort Lauderdale. Dr. McCormick will conduct a thorough diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatment. You can schedule an appointment online by going to http://www.frankmccormickmd.com/contact-us/.

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