Wednesday, June 27, 2007

An Inner View of Adhesive Capsulitis



"Adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder, has an uncertain etiology, and is characterized by restriction of active and passive motion, usually accompanied by severe pain. Both primary and secondary adhesive capsulitis exist. With primary adhesive capsulitis, the symptoms usually develop over a longer period of time, and the onset is not related to a specific event or trauma. Secondary adhesive capsulitis has been linked to disorders such as impingement, but can also be associated with systemic disease such as thyroid disease or diabetes. There is disagreement in the literature on whether the underlying pathologic process is inflammatory in nature or a fibrotic condition.

Treatment of frozen shoulder includes physical therapy. The therapy program for these patients should initially focus on regaining range of motion, and once this is achieved, improving strength.

Occasionally, surgery is recommended to arthroscopically release adhesions and to regain motion."

There are supposed to be three stages to adhesive capsulitis. The painful stage is only supposed to last up to 6 months [in both cases for me, it has lasted over 6 months and is rarely controlled even by strong pain medication]. The frozen stage is not painful [this is where there is lack of motion in the joint...hmm, frozen and still hurting]. The thawing stage. This can take up to two years.

Interesting that some doctors want you to wait out this two years. Imagine not being able to use an arm very well for two years? Let me tell you muscle atrophy and weakness from my perspective lead to a great concern for greater shoulder injuries. I'm not a fan of doing surgery for a quick fix, but for my particular situation [last time] there was no quick fix. I figure the faster they release the capsule, the faster my healing and strengthening will take place.

At this point, the doctors are looking for a possible secondary cause for my condition. I've read and researched as much as I can regarding this condition to try and gain an understanding to the 'why' I've had it occur twice now.

The mystery continues...




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