About Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is Frozen Shoulder Syndrome?

The humerus, scapula, and clavicle bones form the shoulder joint. The shoulder capsule is a band of connective tissue that covers the head of the humerus and glenoid cavity of the scapula. The shoulder capsule helps stabilize the shoulder. Synovial fluid inside the capsule helps the move the shoulder.

Frozen shoulder occurs when the shoulder capsule thickens, adhesions form and synovial fluid decreases. Frozen shoulder occurs gradually over several months or years.

Common Causes:

  • Untreated shoulder injuries
  • Shoulder fractures
  • Diabetes

Common symptoms of frozen shoulder may include:

  • Pain (often severe)
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Inability to move the shoulder and arm

If diagnosed in its early stages, frozen shoulder is much easier to treat. Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) team of shoulder specialists use the following to accurately diagnose frozen shoulder:

  • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
  • A physical examination
  • Multiple view x-rays

After an OPA specialist diagnosis a frozen shoulder and determines its severity, a customized treatment plan is prescribed.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options treat the majority of cases of frozen shoulder.

Physical Therapy

The most effective treatment option. An OPA approved physical therapist measures your shoulder flexibility and stretches the shoulder in tight areas. Progress is monitored and progress reports are sent to your OPA specialists. Oral and topical non-steroidal inflammatory medications may be prescribed to help with pain during physical therapy. Steroid injections may be used in some cases.

Closed Reduction

A noninvasive procedure performed under general anesthesia. An OPA specialist manipulates the your shoulder to stretch tight ligaments, tendons, and muscles and loosen scar tissue.

Minimally Invasive Arthroscopic Surgery

This may be recommended to treat frozen shoulder that doesn’t improve after a significant amount of physical therapy. During a capsule release, an OPA specialist removes small portions of the capsule, which loosens the shoulder and allows it to move freely.

At OPA, our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Orthopedic Surgeons are experts in diagnosing and treating frozen shoulder syndrome.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a frozen shoulder and would like a treatment solution you should contact OPA to schedule an appointment at any of our convenient locations in Anchorage and Eagle River.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Shoulder Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Owen Ala, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Adam Ellison, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Robert Hall, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Christopher Manion, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Jeff Moore, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Eli Powell, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Greg Schweiger, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.

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