Frozen Shoulder

Treatment options to relieve the pain of adhesive capsulitis and restore shoulder motion.

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a painful condition that can impede shoulder motion and function. Our joint care team has treatment options to reduce or eliminate pain and restore your shoulder’s mobility.

What is frozen shoulder?

Certain joints in the body have a surrounding layer called a capsule. The shoulder’s capsule has ligaments that connect the shoulder bones to each other. If the capsule’s ligaments become inflamed, the shoulder bones can’t move freely in the joint. This causes the shoulder to feel stiff or “frozen.”

What are the symptoms of frozen shoulder?

If frozen shoulder isn’t linked to a specific injury or cause, the first symptom most people notice is pain. This pain limits the arm’s motion. The limited motion leads to stiffness in the shoulder, which leads to more limited motion.

What are my treatment options for frozen shoulder?

Your treatment will start with a thorough examination. Your doctor may order X-rays to confirm the diagnosis of frozen shoulder and rule out other possible problems, such as arthritis.

We treat frozen shoulder pain with anti-inflammatory medications and joint injections. These treatments can improve the shoulder’s motion, but it may take up to six to nine months to fully recover.

If these treatments aren’t successful, we recommend frozen shoulder surgery. During the procedure, your surgeon will release the scar tissue that prevents the shoulder from moving. We also can perform a minimally invasive procedure called an arthroscopy to remove the scar tissue and cut the tight ligaments. After the surgery, you may need nerve blocks so you can take part in physical therapy.

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