Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is a common, painful and disabling condition which is typically slow to resolve. Patients with this condition will be seen in every musculoskeletal practitioner’s clinic on a regular basis. There is a wide variety of treatment modalities available, some more effective than others. This article reviews the literature on the aetiology and natural history of the condition, and the common treatments provided. The literature on hydraulic arthrographic capsular distension (hydrodilatation) is reviewed and six cases referred for this treatment from a chiropractic clinic are presented.
Frozen shoulder; hydrodilatation; case series
Hydrodilatation of the glenohumeral joint is by several authors reported to improve shoulder pain and range of motion for patients with adhesive capsulitis. Procedures described often involve the injection of corticosteroids, to which the reported treatment effects may be attributed. Any important contribution arising from the hydrodilatation procedure itself remains to be demonstrated.
In this randomized trial, a hydrodilatation procedure including corticosteroids was compared with the injection of corticosteroids without dilatation. Patients were given three injections with two-week intervals, and all injections were given under fluoroscopic guidance. Outcome measures were the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI) and measures of active and passive range of motion. Seventy-six patients were included and groups were compared six weeks after treatment. The study was designed as an open trial.
The groups showed a rather similar degree of improvement from baseline. According to a multiple regression analysis, the effect of dilatation was a mean improvement of 3 points (confidence interval: -5 to 11) on the SPADI 0–100 scale. T-tests did not demonstrate any significant between-group differences in range of motion.
This study did not identify any important treatment effects resulting from three hydrodilatations that included steroid compared with three steroid injections alone.
The study is registered in Current Controlled Trials with the registration number ISRCTN90567697.
Computed tomography (CT) immediately after double-contrast shoulder arthrography was taken in twenty-two young male patients with anterior shoulder instability including recurrent dislocation and subluxation. This recently developed technique called CT arthrography can provide significant information about patients with glenohumeral instability which is difficult to obtain by conventional arthrography. Information about glenoid labrum pathology is useful for proper management of the shoulder with instability. Lesions identified in this study include anterior labral defects (attenuation, tear, displacement), anterior capsular distension and/or detachment, Hill-Sachs lesion, anterior glenoid rim compression fracture, and fracture of scapula. This article describes the method used in CT arthrography of the glenohumeral joint, reviews the normal cross-sectional anatomy, and emphasizes the importance of the application of CT arthrography in the shoulder disorder with instability. CT arthrography of the glenohumeral joint is easy to perform, is accurate, and has lower radiation dose than arthrotomography.
To describe and compare the medium to long‐term effectiveness of hydrodilatation and post‐hydrodilatation physiotherapy in patients with primary and secondary glenohumeral joint contracture associated with rotator cuff pathology.
Patients with primary and secondary glenohumeral contractures associated with rotator cuff pathology were recruited into a 2‐year study. They all underwent hydrodilatation, followed by a structured physiotherapy programme. Patients were assessed at baseline, 3 days, 1 week, 3 months, 1 year and 2 years after hydrodilatation with primary outcome measures (Shoulder Pain and Disability Index, Shoulder Disability Index and percentage rating of “normal” function; SD%) and secondary outcome measures (range of shoulder abduction, external rotation and hand behind back). Comparisons in recovery were made between the primary and secondary glenohumeral contracture groups at all timeframes and for all outcome measures.
A total of 53 patients (23 with primary and 30 with secondary glenohumeral contractures) were recruited into the study. At the 2‐year follow‐up, 12 patients dropped out from the study. At baseline, the two contracture groups were similar with respect to their demographic and physical characteristics. The two groups of patients recovered in a similar fashion over the 2‐year follow‐up period. A significant improvement was observed in all outcomes measures over this period (p<0.01), so that both function and range of movement increased. The rate of improvement was dependent on the outcome measure that was used.
Hydrodilatation and physiotherapy increase shoulder motion in individuals with primary and secondary glenohumeral joint contracture associated with rotator cuff pathology. This benefit continues to improve or is maintained in the long term, up to 2 years after hydrodilatation.
Frozen shoulder is a common, disabling but self-limiting condition, which typically presents in three stages and ends in resolution. Frozen shoulder is classified as primary (idiopathic) or secondary cases. The aetiology for primary frozen shoulder remains unknown. It is frequently associated with other systemic conditions, most commonly diabetes mellitus, or following periods of immobilisation e.g. stroke disease. Frozen shoulder is usually diagnosed clinically requiring little investigation. Management is controversial and depends on the phase of the condition. Non-operative treatment options for frozen shoulder include analgesia, physiotherapy, oral or intra-articular corticosteroids, and intra-articular distension injections. Operative options include manipulation under anaesthesia and arthroscopic release and are generally reserved for refractory cases.
Frozen shoulder; adhesive capsulitis; arthroscopic release
OBJECTIVE: To review the efficacy of common interventions for shoulder pain. DESIGN: All randomised controlled trials of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, intra-articular and subacromial glucocorticosteroid injection, oral glucocorticosteroid treatment, physiotherapy, manipulation under anaesthesia, hydrodilatation, and surgery for shoulder pain that were identified by computerised and hand searches of the literature and had a blinded assessment of outcome were included. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Methodological quality (score out of 40), selection criteria, and outcome measures. Effect sizes were calculated and combined in a pooled analysis if study population, end point, and intervention were comparable. RESULTS: Thirty one trials met inclusion criteria. Mean methodological quality score was 16.8 (9.5-22). Selection criteria varied widely, even for the same diagnostic label. There was no uniformity in the outcome measures used, and their measurement properties were rarely reported. Effect sizes for individual trials were small (range -1.4 to 3.0). The results of only three studies investigating "rotator cuff tendinitis" could be pooled. The only positive finding was that subacromial steroid injection is better than placebo in improving the range of abduction (weighted difference between means 35 degrees (95% confidence interval 14 to 55)). CONCLUSIONS: There is little evidence to support or refute the efficacy of common interventions for shoulder pain. As well as the need for further well designed clinical trials, more research is needed to establish a uniform method of defining shoulder disorders and developing outcome measures which are valid, reliable, and responsive in affected people.
Adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder is a common condition characterized by shoulder pain and stiffness. In patients in whom conservative measures have failed, more invasive interventions such as arthrographic or arthroscopic distension can be very effective in relieving symptoms and improving range of movement. However, absolute contraindications to these procedures include the presence of neoplasia around the shoulder girdle. We present five cases referred to our institution where the diagnosis of shoulder joint malignancy was delayed, following prolonged, ineffective treatment for frozen shoulder. These cases highlight the importance of careful review of the radiology and the need for reconsideration of the diagnosis in refractory "frozen shoulder".
Frozen shoulder; adhesive capsulitis; hydrodilatation; distension; tumour
The diagnostic criteria and nomenclature used to describe the painful stiff shoulder remain confused. Arthrographic features of capsulitis have come to be accepted as characteristic of the frozen shoulder. Increased technetium uptake has also been noted. Both features have been considered to have possible prognostic and therapeutic importance. During a therapeutic study of strictly defined clinical frozen shoulder 35 of 38 patients showed increased technetium diphosphonate uptake in the affected shoulder in comparison with the opposite side. Of 36 patients who had arthrography 15 showed evidence of capsulitis, 11 rupture of the rotator cuff, and five no abnormality. Five tests failed owing to technical difficulty. There was no association between the technetium uptake and the arthrographic features, and neither was useful in predicting the rate or extent of recovery. Frozen shoulder of traumatic onset behaved no differently from that which arose spontaneously. We do not therefore consider that arthrography or technetium diphosphonate scanning performed at presentation contributes to the assessment of the painful stiff shoulder.
To present the Computed Tomography (CT)-Arthrography appearance of the most common types of anterior labral lesion and to assess the diagnostic value of this technique in the detection and classification of the antero-inferior labral tears in glenohumeral joint instability.
Materials and Methods:
The pre-operative CT-Arthrography records of 43 patients, who underwent surgery for anterior shoulder instability, were retrospectively evaluated independently by two radiologists. The data were compared with arthroscopic results and the diagnostic accuracy of CT-Arthrography was calculated to detect the labral lesion and the agreement between the CT-Arthrography lesions classification and the arthroscopy classification.
The CT-Arthrography sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were: 92% / 89% (reader 1/reader 2), 86% / 86% and 91% / 88% respectively. The CT-Arthrography classification was correct in 86% of cases.
CT-Arthrography appears to be an accurate means for identification and classification of the anterior labral tears and, identifying the labral degeneration, this technique can be very helpful in the selection of patient for arthroscopic stabilization of the shoulder.
Arthrography; CT; instability; labral lesion; shoulder
Double contrast arthrography, a method in which a dye and then oxygen is injected, can be used to visualize pathologic changes in the knee joint, that otherwise cannot be recognized preoperatively. In 28 cases in which the procedure was carried out there was no evidence of damage owing to it.
This method is worthy of consideration for visualization of conditions in the shoulder joint, hip, or any joint having a distensible cavity.
Instruments designed to measure the subjective impact of painful shoulder conditions have become essential in shoulder research. The Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI) is one of the most extensively used scales of this type. The objective of this study was to investigate reproducibility and responsiveness of the SPADI in patients with adhesive capsulitis.
SPADI test-retest reproducibility was estimated by the "intraclass correlation coefficient" (ICC) and the "smallest detectable difference" (SDD). Responsiveness was assessed by exploring baseline and follow-up data recorded in a recently reported clinical trial regarding hydrodilatation and corticosteroid injections in 76 patients with adhesive capsulitis. "Standardized response mean" (SRM) and "reliable change proportion" (RCP) for SPADI were compared with corresponding figures for shoulder range-of-motion (ROM). The relationship between SPADI and ROM change scores was investigated through correlation and linear regression analyses.
Results for test-retest reproducibility indicated a smallest detectable difference of 17 points on the 0–100 scale, and an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.89. The SPADI was generally more responsive than ROM. Weak to moderately strong associations were identified between SPADI and ROM change scores. According to the regression model, the three variables baseline SPADI, baseline active ROM and change in active ROM together explained 60% of the variance in SPADI improvement.
This study supports the use of SPADI as an outcome measure in similar settings.
OBJECTIVE--To determine whether there is any synergistic effect in the administration of intraarticular steroids with distension in the management of early capsulitis of the shoulder. DESIGN--Prospective randomised trial of three treatments--namely distension only, steroid only, and steroid with distension. SETTING--Academic department of orthopaedic and accident surgery at Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham. SUBJECTS--47 patients (30 women) with capsulitis affecting 50 shoulders. INTERVENTIONS--Three intra-articular injections into the shoulder given at six week intervals by the same technique. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Passive range of abduction, forward flexion, and external rotation; results of shoulder dynamometry measuring work done and torque produced; pain levels at rest and with resisted movement. RESULTS--All patients reported improvement during the study. Analysis of the mean improvements in abduction and forward flexion showed these to be significantly greater in the steroid with distension and steroid only groups than in the distension only group (mean improvements in abduction (degrees/week (95% confidence interval)) 4.3 (3.4 to 5.2), 3.4 (2.4 to 4.5), and 1.0 (-0.8 to 2.8) in the three groups respectively; mean improvements in flexion (degrees/week (95% confidence interval)) 3.6 (3.2 to 4.0), 3.3 (2.3 to 4.3), and 1.5 (0.5 to 2.5) respectively). Shoulder dynamometry failed to show a significant difference among the treatment groups. No severe complications occurred as a result of the injections, but two patients reported facial flushing related to the use of steroids. CONCLUSION--Intra-articular steroid injections have a useful role in the outpatient management of early capsulitis.
The purpose of this study was to compare virtual MR arthroscopic reconstructions with arthroscopic images in patients affected by shoulder joint instability. MR arthrography (MR-AR) of the shoulder is now a well-assessed technique, based on the injection of a contrast medium solution, which fills the articular space and finds its way between the rotator cuff (RC) and the glenohumeral ligaments. In patients with glenolabral pathology, we used an additional sequence that provided virtual arthroscopy (VA) post-processed views, which completed the MR evaluation of shoulder pathology.
Materials and methods
We enrolled 36 patients, from whom MR arthrographic sequence data (SE T1w and GRE T1 FAT SAT) were obtained using a GE 0.5 T Signa—before any surgical or arthroscopic planned treatment; the protocol included a supplemental 3D, spoiled GE T1w positioned in the coronal plane. Dedicated software loaded on a work-station was used to elaborate VAs. Two radiologists evaluated, on a semiquantitative scale, the visibility of the principal anatomic structures, and then, in consensus, the pathology emerging from the VA images.
These images were reconstructed in all patients, except one. The visualization of all anatomical structures was acceptable. VA and MR arthrographic images were fairly concordant with intraoperative findings.
Although in our pilot study the VA findings did not change the surgical planning, the results showed concordance with the surgical or arthroscopic images.
3D MR imaging; Magnetic resonance; MR arthrography; Virtual MR arthrography
Joint injection is a useful tool in the diagnosis of intra-articular pathology that may improve diagnostic performance of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Historically, conventional arthrography under fluoroscopy was the first method to be used to image indirectly the intra-articular soft tissues, but with the advent of CT, CT arthrography offered better soft tissue depiction. The development of conventional MR allowed even better visualization of soft tissues, and in the early 1990s, MR arthrography surpassed CT arthrography in popularity. Joint injections may also be performed for therapeutic reasons with different drugs, such as corticosteroids, anesthetics, or hyaluronic acid, which have been shown to provide pain relief in various circumstances. In this article, the technical principles for joint injection of the shoulder, knee, elbow, hip, ankle, and wrist, used for therapeutic or diagnostic reasons, are discussed. Indications, expected benefits, and risks are also analyzed.
Joint; arthrography; injection; shoulder; wrist; knee; hip; ultrasonography; magnetic resonance
To compare, in terms of their demonstration of tears of the anterior glenoid labrum, oblique axial MR arthrography obtained with the patient's shoulder in the abduction and external rotation (ABER) position, with conventional axial MR arthrography obtained with the patient's arm in the neutral position.
Materials and Methods
MR arthrography of the shoulder, including additional oblique axial sequences with the patient in the ABER position, was performed in 30 patients with a clinical history of recurrent anterior shoulder dislocation. The degree of anterior glenoid labral tear or defect was evaluated in both the conventional axial and the ABER position by two radiologists. Decisions were reached by consensus, and a three-point scale was used: grade 1=normal; grade 2=probable tear, diagnosed when subtle increased signal intensity in the labrum was apparent; grade 3=definite tear/defect, when a contrast material-filled gap between the labrum and the glenoid rim or deficient labrum was present. The scores for each imaging sequence were averaged and to compare conventional axial and ABER position scans, Student's t test was performed.
In 21 (70%) of 30 patients, the same degree of anterior instability was revealed by both imaging sequences. Eight (27%) had a lower grade in the axial position than in the ABER position, while one (3%) had a higher grade in the axial position. Three whose axial scan was grade 1 showed only equivocal evidence of tearing, but their ABER-position scan, in which a contrast material-filled gap between the labrum and the glenoid rim was present, was grade 3. The average grade was 2.5 (SD=0.73) for axial scans and 2.8 (SD=0.46) for the ABER position. The difference between axial and ABER-position scans was statistically significant (p<0.05).
MR arthrography with the patient's shoulder in the ABER position is more efficient than conventional axial scanning in revealing the degree of tear or defect of the anterior glenoid labrum. When equivocal features are seen at conventional axial MR arthrography, oblique axial imaging in the ABER position is helpful.
Shoulder, arthrography; Shoulder, injuries; Shoulder, MR
To evaluate the diagnostic performance of magnetic resonance (MR) arthrography of the shoulder in the diagnosis of anteroinferior labrum lesions, using arthroscopy as the reference standard and to classify these lesions.
Institutional review board approval was obtained. The study population included 59 consecutive patients with history and clinical diagnosis of acute or chronic anterior shoulder instability. A total of 62 MR arthrograms were performed, since three patients had undergone a bilateral procedure. Arthroscopy, which was performed within a mean of 3 months (range 2–5 months) after MR arthrography, was used as the reference standard. Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive and negative predictive values were then calculated.
MR arthrography showed a sensitivity of 96 % and a specificity of 80 % for the overall detection of anteroinferior labrum abnormalities. The diagnostic accuracy was 95 % and the positive and negative predictive values were 98 % and 66 % respectively. Ten lesions were non-classifiable on surgery, of which eight were non classifiable on MR arthrography also.
MR arthrography is highly accurate for the detection and classification of shoulder anteroinferior labrum lesions. Shoulder surgeons can confidently rely on this method to determine which patients will benefit from arthroscopy.
• MR arthrography is accurate for the detection and classification of shoulder labrum lesions.
• MR arthrography is a valuable tool for the preoperative planning in acute or chronic instability.
• Shoulder surgeons can rely on this method to determine which patients will benefit from arthroscopy.
Shoulder; Anteroinferior labrum; MR arthrography; Arthroscopy; Shoulder instability
Effects of the contingency for submission of homework assignments on the probability of assignment submission and on quiz grades were assessed in an undergraduate psychology course. Under an alternating treatments design, each student was assigned to a points condition for 5 of 10 quiz-related homework assignments corresponding to textbook chapters. Points were available for homework submission under this condition; points were not available under the no-points condition. The group-mean percentage of homework assignments submitted and quiz grades were higher for all chapters under the points condition than in the no-points condition. These findings, which were replicated in Experiment 2, demonstrate that homework submission was not maintained when the only consequences were instructor-provided feedback and expectation of improved quiz performance.
college; homework; quiz grades; teaching behavior analysis
A 'revision quiz' using some 20 projected photographic slides and a structured open-ended answer sheet was administered to, and marked for, 75 Final MB candidates and 7 Final FRCS candidates at Bristol. Despite only a modest exposure to specialist urological teaching, the undergraduates were judged to have achieved an acceptable level of performance in most areas except for treatment of urinary infections. The performance of the senior house officers was not better than that of the undergraduates. Nearly all candidates in both groups undermarked their own scripts compared to the marks given by their teachers, thus fuelling, perhaps needlessly, their anxieties about examinations.
Manipulation under anaesthesia (MUA) has been used to speed up recovery. However, the outcome of frozen shoulder after MUA in patients with diabetes has not been well documented in the past. A higher prevalence of frozen shoulder has been reported in diabetes mellitus (DM) patients. In this study, we revealed the short- and long-term outcomes for treatment of frozen shoulders by MUA and compared these results in patients with and without non-insulin dependent DM by adjusted Constant score. The scores showed no significant differences between the two groups at both early and late follow-ups. Our results revealed that MUA for frozen shoulders is a simple and noninvasive procedure to improve symptoms and shoulder function within a short period of time. Even though DM is a predisposing factor to frozen shoulder, non-insulin dependent DM alone does not influence both the short- and long-term outcomes of frozen shoulder.
It seems appropriate to assume, that for a full and strong global shoulder function a normally innervated and active deltoid muscle is indispensable. We set out to analyse the size and shape of the deltoid muscle on MR-arthrographies, and analyse its influence on shoulder function and its adaption (i.e. atrophy) for reduced shoulder function.
The fatty infiltration (Goutallier stages), atrophy (tangent sign) and selective myotendinous retraction of the rotator cuff, as well as the thickness and the area of seven anatomically defined segments of the deltoid muscle were measured on MR-arthrographies and correlated with shoulder function (i.e. active abduction). Included were 116 patients, suffering of a rotator cuff tear with shoulder mobility ranging from pseudoparalysis to free mobility. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used to determine the distribution of the data before either Spearman or Pearson correlation and a multiple regression was applied to reveal the correlations.
Our developed method for measuring deltoid area and thickness showed to be reproducible with excellent interobserver correlations (r = 0.814–0.982).
The analysis of influencing factors on active abduction revealed a weak influence of the amount of SSP tendon (r = −0.25; p < 0.01) and muscle retraction (r = −0.27; p < 0.01) as well as the stage of fatty muscle infiltration (GFDI: r = −0.36; p < 0.01). Unexpectedly however, we were unable to detect a relation of the deltoid muscle shape with the degree of active glenohumeral abduction. Furthermore, long-standing rotator cuff tears did not appear to influence the deltoid shape, i.e. did not lead to muscle atrophy.
Our data support that in chronic rotator cuff tears, there seems to be no disadvantage to exhausting conservative treatment and to delay implantation of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, as the shape of deltoid muscle seems only to be influenced by natural aging, but to be independent of reduced shoulder motion.
Rotator cuff tear; Pseudoparalysis; Deltoid muscle; Myotendinous retraction
The natural history of spontaneous idiopathic frozen shoulder is controversial. Many studies claim that complete resolution is not inevitable. Based on the 40-year clinical experience of the senior author, we believed most patients with idiopathic frozen shoulder might have a higher rate of resolution than earlier thought.
We determined the length of symptoms, whether spontaneous frozen shoulder recovered without any treatment, and whether restored ROM, pain relief, and function persisted over the long term.
We retrospectively reviewed 83 patients treated for frozen shoulder (84 shoulders; 56 women) 2 to 27 years (mean, 9 years) after initial consultation. The mean age at onset of symptoms was 53 years. Fifty-one of the 83 patients (52 shoulders) were treated with observation or benign neglect only (untreated group), and 32 had received some kind of nonoperative treatment before the first consultation with the senior author (nonoperative group). We also evaluated all 20 patients (22 shoulders; 13 women) with spontaneous frozen shoulder who underwent manipulation under anesthesia during the same time (manipulation group). The mean age of these patients was 49 years. The minimum followup was 2 years (mean, 14 years; range, 2–24 years). We determined duration of the disease, pain levels, ROM, and Constant-Murley scores.
The duration of the disease averaged 15 months (range, 4–36 months) in the untreated group, and 20 months (range, 6–60 months) in the nonoperative group. At last followup the ROM had improved to the contralateral level in 94% in the untreated group, in 91% in the nonoperative group, and in 91% in the manipulation group. Fifty-one percent of patients in the untreated group, 44% in the nonoperative group, and 30% in the manipulation group were totally pain free at rest, during the night, and with exertion. Pain at rest was less than 3 on the VAS in 94% of patients in the untreated group, 91% in the nonoperative group, and 90% of the manipulation group. The Constant-Murley scores averaged 83 (86%) in the untreated group, 81 (77%) in the nonoperative group, and 82 (71%) in the manipulation group, reaching the normal age- and gender-related Constant-Murley score.
We found 94% of patients with spontaneous frozen shoulder recovered to normal levels of function and motion without treatment.
Level of Evidence
Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
In the management of idiopathic frozen shoulder, manipulation under anaesthesia is known to have serious potential complications including fractures and intra-articular injuries. Arthroscopy is a safer treatment modality but requires special instruments, experience, and involves added cost. The aim of this work was to study the use of miniopen Coracohumeral ligament release and manipulation of the shoulder as a safe and simple method of treating idiopathic frozen shoulder that could be performed as a quick procedure under short duration anaesthesia obtaining a significant improvement of shoulder function while avoiding complications that are feared to occur with the use of manipulation under anaesthesia. Miniopen Coracohumeral ligament release is performed through a 3-cm incision. The Coracohumeral ligament is divided, and then the shoulder is manipulated without undue force. A case series including fifteen patients (19 shoulders) with idiopathic frozen shoulder operated by this technique is described. Miniopen Coracohumeral ligament release and manipulation is a quick procedure that may be performed under short duration anaesthesia obtaining a significant improvement of shoulder function meanwhile avoiding complications that are feared to occur with the use of manipulation under anaesthesia.
coracohumeral ligament; frozen shoulder; mini-open; safe; simple
Fatty degeneration of the rotator cuff muscles is considered one of the most important factors for the outcomes of cuff repair. However, the reliability of the grading system is not well validated. Two specialists in musculoskeletal radiology and three shoulder fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons reviewed the fatty degeneration grades of each cuff muscle of consecutive 75 full-thickness cuff tears. Fatty degeneration grades were assessed according to the systems of Goutallier et al. and Fuchs et al. using preoperative MR and postoperative CT arthrographies. The interclass correlation coefficient was analyzed to assess interobserver and intraobserver reliabilities. For interobserver reliability using the system of Goutallier et al. the interclass correlation coefficient was higher in MR arthrography (0.6–0.72) than in CT arthrography (0.43–0.6) and higher for radiologists (0.58–0.78) than for orthopaedic surgeons (0.32–0.68). There was no difference between the systems of Goutallier et al. and Fuchs et al. Intraobserver reliabilities showed a similar pattern (0.26–0.81), but the level of experience should be considered. Although the system of Goutallier et al. is most widely used in orthopaedics, reported data should be interpreted carefully because of the relatively low reliability.
Level of Evidence: Level III, diagnostic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
To elucidate the experiences and perceptions of people living with primary frozen shoulder and their priorities for treatment.
Qualitative study design using semistructured interviews.
General practitioner (GP) and musculoskeletal clinics in primary and secondary care in one National Health Service Trust in England.
12 patients diagnosed with primary frozen shoulder were purposively recruited from a GP's surgery, community clinics and hospital clinics. Recruitment targeted the phases of frozen shoulder: pain predominant (n=5), stiffness predominant (n=4) and residual stiffness predominant following hospital treatment (n=2). One participant dropped out. Inclusion criteria: adult, male and female patients of any age, attending the clinics, who had been diagnosed with primary frozen shoulder.
The most important experiential themes identified by participants were: pain which was severe as well as inexplicable; inconvenience/disability arising from increasing restriction of movement (due to pain initially, gradually giving way to stiffness); confusion/anxiety associated with delay in diagnosis and uncertainty about the implications for the future; and treatment-related aspects. Participants not directly referred to a specialist (whether physiotherapist, physician or surgeon) wanted a faster, better-defined care pathway. Specialist consultation brought more definitive diagnosis, relief from anxiety and usually self-rated improvement. The main treatment priority was improved function, though there was recognition that this might be facilitated by relief of pain or stiffness. There was a general lack of information from clinicians about the condition with over-reliance on verbal communication and very little written information.
Awareness of frozen shoulder should be increased among non-specialists and the best available information made accessible for patients. Our results also highlight the importance of patient participation in frozen shoulder research.
Manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) has been used to speed up the recovery of frozen shoulder, which is said to be a self-limiting process. We would like to elucidate the short- and long-term results of the treatment of frozen shoulders by manipulation under anesthesia and compare the results of idiopathic, post-trauma and post-surgery frozen shoulders. We applied an adjusted Constant score (Constant score after excluding the 25 points allocated for the assessment of muscle strength) to assess all patients. In our series, 47 cases with 51 frozen shoulders were collected and evaluated retrospectively. The adjusted Constant score at pre-manipulation was on average 22.8±4.9 (10–31) points. The score from the 3-week follow-up was 52.6±9.2 (31–67) points on average. The score from the averaged 82-month follow-up was on average 70.1±6.2 (54–75) points, with 23 shoulders scored for a maximum point number of 75. The score at the early and late follow-ups was significantly lower for the post-surgery group (63.2±6.7) when compared to the other two groups (P<0.001). Our results revealed that manipulation under anestheia is a very simple and noninvasive procedure for shortening the course of an apparently self-limiting disease and can improve shoulder function and symptoms within a short period of time. However, we found less improvement in post-surgery frozen shoulders, especially in residual pain and limited range of motion (ROM), which may be influenced by the initial injury or initial surgery. Although less improvement in pain and ROM was noted, manipulation is still a good and simple way to treat post-surgery frozen shoulders.