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Frozen Shoulder

When a shoulder is immobilized, there is a risk of inflammation in the ligaments or a thickening of the shoulder capsule. When this occurs, adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder, can be the result, causing pain and mobility problems. Frozen shoulder can be relieved through conservative or non-surgical treatments, or in severe cases, surgery may be required to restore mobility.

Frozen shoulder is often a consequence of shoulder immobility after an arm or shoulder injury. The inflammation and thickening can occur while the shoulder is held immobile after a surgery or broken bone. This condition is more common in patients 40-60 years of age, and those who have certain illnesses, including diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cardiac disease, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Symptoms include pain and stiffness in the shoulder, limiting mobility.

When is Surgery Requited for Frozen Shoulder?

In most cases, frozen shoulder can be treated using anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy to improve mobility. Conservative treatments are always recommended as the first course of action to help relieve the pain and stiffness of a frozen shoulder. However, in severe cases surgical intervention may be required to relieve the tightness and thickness in the shoulder capsule. Arthroscopy can be used to enter the shoulder and remove scar tissue that has thickened the capsule and dissect ligaments that have become too tight to allow movement. Surgery is followed by physical therapy to restore mobility and strength.

If you are suffering from frozen shoulder and conservative treatment options have not been successful, Dr. Reynolds can offer options for more advanced treatments. Contact our practice in San Jose to schedule an evaluation for your shoulder concern. If surgery is required, Dr. Reynolds specializes in arthroscopy surgery and minimally-invasive surgical options to achieve results with reduced risk and recovery.

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