Adhesive Capsulite

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Presentation

The adhesive capsulitis appears as a pain often very intense on the shoulder accompanied by a loss of amplitude of marked movement. It is divided into three phases, which can be spread over more than 2 years. The first is the painful phase, the second phase is the “frozen” phase and the last phase is the recovery phase.

Causes

  • Idiopathic (unknown cause).
  • Trauma (tear of the rotator cuff for example).
  • Surgery (complication encountered following shoulder surgery).

Treatment

  • The intervention of choice is distant arthrography, where a quantity of fluid combined with cortisone is injected into the glenohumeral joint.
  • Studies show that combining previous intervention with manual therapies has proven to be more effective than injection alone, hence the importance of post-injection follow-up.
  • Soft tissue techniques (Active Release Techniques and Graston).
  • Passive joint mobilization of the joint.
  • Electrotherapy and ultrasound can also be used to reduce pain, as does the application of ice.
  • Rehabilitation exercises should be integrated as soon as possible, where progressive mobilization of the joint will be put forward.

Prognosis

  • Without treatment, the condition will resolve itself over a period that can extend over more than two years.
  • With treatment, it is possible to reduce the recovery time and to prevent the long-term complications of capsulitis, such as loss of amplitude of movement or prolonged disability.