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.