Clinical Outcomes after Arthroscopic Release for Recalcitrant Frozen Shoulder

Document Type : RESEARCH PAPER


1 mashad university of medical sciences

2 Department of Orthopedic Surgery Orthopedic Research Center Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran Hand Fellow, Mass General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, 02114 MA, US

3 Orthopedic Surgeon, Orthopedic Research Center Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran

4 Associated professor of orthopedics, Orthopedic research Center, Pediatric Orthopedic surgeon, Mashhad University of Medical science Mashhad, Iran

5 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Research Center, Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background: To explain the role of arthroscopic release in intractable frozen shoulders. We used different questionnaires and measuring tools to understand whether arthroscopic release is the superior modality to treat patients with intractable frozen shoulders. Methods: Between 2007 and 2013, in a prospective study, we enrolled 80 patients (52 females and 28 males) with recalcitrant frozen shoulder, who underwent arthroscopic release at Ghaem Hospital, a tertiary referral center, in Mashhad, Iran. Before operation, all patients filled out the Disability of Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH), Constant, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), ROWE and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain questionnaires. We measured the difference in range of motion between both the normal and the frozen shoulders in each patient. Results: The average age of the patients was 50.8±7.1 years. In 49 patients, the right shoulder was affected and in the remaining 31 the left side was affected. Before surgery, the patients were suffering from this disease on average for 11.7±10.3 months.  The average time to follow-up was 47.2±6.8 months (14 to 60 months). Diabetes mellitus (38%) and history of shoulder trauma (23%) were the most common comorbidities in our patients. We did not find any significant differences between baseline characteristics of diabetics patients with non-diabetics ones. After surgery, the average time to achieve maximum pain improvement and range of motion were 3.6±2.1 and 3.6±2 months, respectively. The VAS score, constant shoulder score, Rowe score, UCLA shoulder score, and DASH score showed significant improvement in shoulder function after surgery, and shoulder range of motion improved in all directions compared to pre-operation range of motion. Conclusions: According to our results, arthroscopic release of recalcitrant frozen shoulder is a valuable modality in treating this disease. This method could decrease pain and improve both subjective and objective mid-term outcomes


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