What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen ShoulderFrozen shoulder causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder. The condition, which is also called adhesive capsulitis, exhibits symptoms that occur in stages that include:

  • Painful or Freezing – Pain occurs even with slight movement of the shoulder.
  • Frozen – Range of motion is diminished and shoulder becomes stiff.
  • Thawing – Range of motion begins to improve.

Many times patients who are recovering from a stroke or mastectomy, have injuries that affect the mobility of your arms, or have certain other medical conditions are at risk for developing frozen shoulder.

Frozen Shoulder Treatment Options

Most of the time, frozen shoulders get better with rest and time, but if you are experiencing persistent symptoms there are a variety of treatment options for frozen shoulder including:

  • Medications – There are some over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen, Advil, or Aleve that can help mild pain and inflammation but your physician can prescribe stronger medications if necessary
  • Physical Therapy – A physical therapist can introduce exercises that will help to increase (or maintain in some cases) range of motion in your shoulder. This is most important and reliable treatment method, but can take between 3-9 months to be successful.
  • Injections – Your doctor may suggest injecting steroids into your shoulder in hopes of decreasing pain and increasing your range of motion.
  • Surgery
    • Shoulder manipulation – under anesthesia (where you are put to sleep temporarily)the doctor will manipulate your shoulder by moving it around in all directions to loosen the joint.
    • Arthroscopic Lysis of Adhesions – this is typically recommended to patients who have tried all of the non-surgical options and failed to find pain relief. Shoulder arthroscopy surgery aims to remove tight portions of scar tissue and adhesions from inside your shoulder joint. At Emory, we perform this surgery arthroscopically in an effort to decrease recovery time.

Our physicians treat frozen shoulder at any of our Emory Orthopaedic locations. We also have several physical therapy locations around town to make it easier to complete your therapy sessions should the doctor prescribe physical therapy.

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About Dr. Kyle Hammond
Dr. Kyle HammondDr. Hammond is an orthopaedic surgeon new to the Emory Orthopaedics faculty. He recently completed his fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. While at the University of Pittsburgh he was the Associate Head Team Orthopaedic Surgeon for both the Duquesne University Football team and the University of Pittsburgh Men’s Basketball team. He also worked as a Team Physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the University of Pittsburgh athletics, Robert Morris College athletics, as well as the Pittsburgh Ballet.

Dr. Hammond sees patients at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, as well as Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center in Atlanta. Dr. Hammond has a special interest in the overhead/throwing athlete, ligament injuries to the knee, Tommy John surgery, joint preservation surgery, and is one of the few fellowship trained hip arthroscopists and concussion specialists in Georgia.

About Emory Ortho, Sports and Spine in Johns Creek and Duluth
Emory Orthopaedics, Sports & Spine has recently opened two new clinics, one in Johns Creek and one in Duluth. Emory physicians, Kyle Hammond, MD, and Oluseun A. Olufade, MD see patients in Johns Creek. Mathew Pombo, MD and T. Scott Maughon see patients in Duluth. Our new clinic locations care for a full range of orthopedic conditions including: sports medicine, hand/wrist/elbow, foot/ankle, joint replacement, shoulder, knee/hip, concussions, and spine. To schedule an appointment call 404-778-3350

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