A disorder characterized by pain, loss of motion/or stiffness in the shoulder, is known as frozen shoulder. The disorder affects about 2% of the general population, which means that it’s not that common but you can still suffer from it. Research done on the disorder shows that, women who are between the ages of 40 to 70 years old are generally more affected than other age groups or gender, although men can also develop the disorder.
What are the Risks of Frozen Shoulder?
People who have been diagnosed with diabetes are at much higher risk of developing the disorder. In fact nearly 10% to 20% of such individuals develop frozen shoulder at some point in their lives. Some other medical conditions that increase the chances of developing the disorder are:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Cardiac Disease or Surgery
What Are The Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder?
The pain that is experienced by sufferers of this disorder is usually aching and dull, as compared to other joint injuries, although attempted motion can make the pain worse. The outer shoulder areas as well as the upper arm are the main locations when it comes to pain points, but a restricted shoulder motion and stiffness should also raise alarm bells about the possibility of the disorder.
According to most physicians, the normal course of a frozen shoulder can be described in 3 stages:
Stage 1: This is known as the ‘freezing stage’ and is known to last as long as 6 weeks to 9 months, depending on the nature of the injury. In this stage, the patient experiences a slow but gradual onset of pain, which worsens and results in the shoulder losing all motion.
Stage 2: The ‘frozen stage’ is characterized by a slow improvement in pain, although the stiffness of the shoulder still remains. This stage lasts for over 4 to 9 months.
Stage 3: This is the final stage, i.e. ‘thawing’ when motion in the shoulder returns back slowly towards its normal state. The thawing stage generally takes about 5 to 26 months to complete.
What Are The Treatment Options For Frozen Shoulder?
While the disorder can be effectively treated with the help of physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medicines, in extreme cases of the disorder, surgical intervention is needed when the pain doesn’t subside and/or shoulder motion doesn’t return to its normal course.
The surgery that is done to treat frozen shoulder effectively, aims at releasing or stretching the contracted joint capsule in the shoulder. Commonly tried methods are;
Shoulder Arthroscopy: In this, the orthopedic surgeon makes small cuts or incisions around the shoulder. With the help of a small camera and instruments attached to an arthroscopic device, the insides of the shoulder and the joint capsule are examined and operated upon.
Manipulation under Anesthesia: In this method, the surgeon gives the patient anesthesia and then manipulates the defected shoulder, i.e. forces it to move.
Of course, your designated Gilbert orthopedic surgeon will take you through the entire process and inform of the risks involved, before conducting the surgery which will make it easier for you to make the right decision.
OSPI is the top orthopedic practice in the East Valley serving Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek, Maricopa and Casa Grande. There is also a physical therapy department, chiropractic, massage therapy and CrossFit too! Call (480) 899-4333 to receive treatment.