Evaluating Nonoperative Treatments for Adhesive Capsulitis


Patients commonly present with shoulder complaints to the primary care and orthopaedic setting. The differential includes rotator cuff tears, subacromial impingement, osteoarthritis, and adhesive capsulitis, also known as frozen shoulder. Despite the prevalence of adhesive capsulitis, it is commonly misdiagnosed and management remains unclear. This article reviews the presentation of adhesive capsulitis, presents an overview of the pathophysiology of this poorly understood disease, and evaluates nonoperative treatment options for adhesive capsulitis. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 26(4):193–199, 2017)
Key words: adhesive capsulitis, corticosteroid, frozen shoulder, injection, periarthritis, physical therapy

Ryan C. Xiao, BS; Joseph P. DeAngelis, MD, MBA; Christopher C. Smith, MD; and Arun J. Ramappa, MD