What is the prognosis 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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FSS has a favorable natural history. It is generally a self-limiting condition that can be treated with physical therapy and typically resolves in 1-3 years. [38] Time to recovery does not differ between primary and secondary FSS. No difference in pain and disability of FSS in patients with and without diabetes has been reported. [39] Patients with FSS do not have a lower shoulder activity level than sex- and age-matched controls. [40]

However, several studies have demonstrated long-term pain and shoulder stiffness following conservative treatment. Long-term disability has been reported in 15%, [8] permanent functional loss in 7-15%, and persistent symptoms in 40%. [41]

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