Combined Treatment for Adhesive Capsulitis of the Shoulder
Ofer Levy, Ehud Rath, Dan Atar
Orthopedic Dept., Soroka Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheba
Adhesive capsulitis is a problem for the orthopedic surgeon due to the difficulty of treatment. Although it is self-limited, few patients will wait for spontaneous resolutions while suffering pain and progressive loss of motion. Our aim was to modify the course of the disease and to shorten recovery time by combining intensive physiotherapy with intra-articular infiltration and gentle manipulation. 49 patients with 50 frozen shoulders were enrolled in the study. All patients were treated initially with physiotherapy for 4-8 weeks. If no improvement was noted the affected shoulder was infiltrated and gently manipulated. 27 of 49 patients (55%) improved dramatically with the initial physiotherapy regimen. They achieved full or nearly full range of motion, with significant relief of pain. 22 patients were infiltrated and manipulated. Elevation improved significantly from an average of 110.95 to 165.71 degrees (p<0.001), external rotation from an average of 9.52 to 43.57 degrees (p<0.001) and internal rotation also improved significantly (p<0.001). Self assisted physiotherapy is the corner stone of treatment in adhesive capsulitis. When pain and limitaof passive range of motion persist, infiltration and gentle manipulation dramatically shortens the debilitating process.