Adhesive capsulitis, also known as "frozen shoulder," is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. Signs and symptoms typically start gradually, worsen over time, and then eventually resolve, usually over the time span of one to three years.
The risk of developing frozen shoulder increases if one is recovering from a medical condition or procedure that prevents one from moving their arm. Some of these medical conditions include a stroke or a mastectomy.
The treatment for frozen shoulder involves range-of-motion exercise and often corticosteroids, along with numbing medications injected into the joint capsule. In a small percentage of cases, arthroscopic surgery may be indicated to loosen the joint capsule in order for it to move more freely.
It's unusual for frozen shoulder to recur in the same shoulder, but some people can develop it in the opposite shoulder.
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