When is surgery indicated in the treatment of 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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A subgroup of patients with frozen shoulder syndrome fail to improve despite treatment with aggressive nonsurgical therapy and medication. These patients frequently are referred to as having a refractory or recalcitrant frozen shoulder. Specifically, these patients demonstrate minimal improvement in shoulder pain and motion over a 3-month period, despite the use of aggressive nonoperative measures, including medications and physical therapy. In these refractory cases, more invasive techniques (eg, manipulation under anesthesia, hydrodilatation, surgical release) may be needed.

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