Shoulder, frozen
Constant severe limitation of the range of motion of the shoulder due to scarring around the shoulder joint (adhesive capsulitis). Frozen shoulder is an unwanted consequence of rotator cuff disease: damage to the rotator cuff, the set of four tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint and help move the shoulder in diverse directions. Rotator cuff disease can be due to trauma, inflammation or degeneration. The common symptom is pain in the shoulder of gradual or sudden onset, typically located to the front and side of the shoulder, increasing when the shoulder is moved away from the body. (A person with severe tears in the rotator cuff tendons may not be able to hold that arm up). The diagnosis of rotator cuff disease can be objectively confirmed by x-ray, an arthrogram (in which contrast dye is injected into the shoulder joint) or, preferably, an MRI. The treatment of rotator cuff disease depends on the severity of the injury to the rotator cuff. Mild rotator cuff damage is treated with ice, rest, and anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen and others) and, if needed, a cortisone injection in the rotator cuff. More severe rotator cuff disease may require arthroscopic or open surgical repair. Gradual exercises are important and are specifically designed to strengthen the rotator cuff and increase its range of motion. Rotator cuff disease can leave scarring around the shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) and marked limitation of range of shoulder motion: frozen shoulder.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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