How to Diagnosis Frozen Shoulder
If adhesive capsulitis is suspected to be the cause of your shoulder pain, Dr. Boykin will perform an examination of the shoulder to rule out any other possible injuries. In patients with rotator cuff tears or other causes of shoulder pain who have trouble with active motion (when the patient moves the shoulder) the doctor will still be able to move the shoulder through a passive range of motion. In patients with adhesive capsulitis both active motion and passive motion will be limited. He will also perform an X-ray and possibly an MRI to further confirm the diagnosis. If Dr. Boykin finds that you are suffering from a frozen shoulder, the severity of the condition will be discussed followed by your options for treatment.
For the early onset of adhesive capsulitis, conservative measures can be taken including proper icing, aggressive stretching of the joint, and rest. Dr. Boykin may also recommend formal physical therapy, which has been proven to aid in the treatment of frozen shoulder.
Surgical Treatment for Frozen Shoulder
If rest and physical therapy do not help to ease the pain and improve range of motion of the shoulder, Dr. Boykin may recommend surgery. The surgery will most likely be performed arthroscopically with small incisions, a camera, and special instruments. Prior to the surgery and while the patient is under anesthesia, Dr. Boykin may attempt to perform a “manipulation” technique in which he will manually move the shoulder to break the scar tissues. This at times may be enough to restore motion, while in the majority of cases a surgery will be needed to release the scar tissue that is causing the problem. The procedure is known as a capsular release.
For additional information regarding treatment of adhesive capsulitis, please contact sports medicine specialist, Dr. Robert Boykin, orthopedic shoulder, knee, and hip surgeon serving Asheville, Arden, Fletcher and surrounding North Carolina communities.