What is frozen shoulder syndrome (FSS) (adhesive capsulitis)?

Updated: Nov 12, 2020
  • Author: Jefferson R Roberts, MD; Chief Editor: S Ashfaq Hasan, MD  more...
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Adhesive capsulitis and frozen shoulder syndrome (FSS) are two terms that have been used to describe a painful and stiff shoulder. The current consensus definition of a frozen shoulder by the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons is "a condition of uncertain etiology characterized by significant restriction of both active and passive shoulder motion that occurs in the absence of a known intrinsic shoulder disorder." [1] The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons defines this condition as: "A condition of varying severity characterized by the gradual development of global limitation of active and passive shoulder motion where radiographic findings other than osteopenia are absent."

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