Frozen Shoulder Treatment Overview

Frozen shoulder, also referred to as adhesive capsulitis, is reported to affect approximately 2% of the general population. Most commonly found in women and adults between the ages of 40-60 years, the shoulder condition causes joint pain, stiffness and loss of mobility. Frozen shoulder generally improves over an extended period of time, up to three years in some patients, with relatively simple treatments to control pain and restore motion. If non-surgical frozen shoulder treatment is not effective in Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens & NYC area patients, Dr. Jonathan Ticker may recommend an arthroscopic capsular release.

Frozen shoulder develops in three stages and is marked by pain and the inability to move the joint. The lack of movement is caused when the shoulder capsule thickens and becomes tight from scar tissue, also called adhesions. Patients suffering from this shoulder condition will progress through three distinct stages – the freezing, frozen and thawing stages.

It is estimated more than 90% of patients improve with non-surgical frozen shoulder treatment. Common measures prescribed by Dr. Ticker include anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), modified activities, a physical therapy program and steroid injections. If symptoms are not alleviated with these conservative measures, an arthroscopic capsular release may be necessary.

An arthroscopic capsular release is highly successful in treating more advanced cases of frozen shoulder. Traditionally, a joint manipulation under anesthesia was performed to release scar tissue by carefully moving the affected joint through a series of motions. An arthroscopic capsular release allows Dr. Ticker to carefully examine the shoulder in great detail with an arthroscope in order to determine the true amount of scar tissue and other adhesions. Using tiny, surgical instruments he will then cut away areas of scar tissue that developed in the shoulder joint capsule and are restricting motion.

Arthroscopic Capsular Release Recovery and Rehabilitation

Once the pain level from the arthroscopic capsular release decreases enough for comfortable shoulder movements, patients will begin basic stretching and strengthening exercises to help regain strength and mobility. Patients will then be progressed through a detailed physical therapy rehabilitation program until a full recovery is achieved.

Arthroscopic Capsular Release Recovery Time

Recovery time following a surgical frozen shoulder treatment varies for each patient, but many patients report an 80% improvement of symptoms within three months. A full recovery is typically achieved within 6-9 months.

For additional resources on arthroscopic capsular release, a surgical frozen shoulder treatment, please contact Dr. Jonathan Ticker, orthopedic shoulder surgeon serving the greater Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens & NYC areas.