Frozen Shoulder

Eggleston Orthopedics

Steven D. Eggleston , M.D.

Orthopedic Surgeon located in Lake Jackson, TX

Shoulder pain and limited arm movement are red flags that shouldn’t be ignored because you may be on the way to developing a debilitating frozen shoulder. Dr. Steven D. Eggleston works with you to create a treatment plan that provides pain relief and begins to restore arm movement. Without treatment, your recovery from frozen shoulder can take years, so call Eggleston Orthopedics in Lake Jackson, Texas, or book an appointment online.

Frozen Shoulder Q & A

What is a frozen shoulder?

In your shoulder joint, the round shape of your upper arm bone fits into a socket in the shoulder blade. This joint is surrounded by connective tissue called the shoulder capsule.

A healthy shoulder capsule expands and contracts to allow arm movement. When inflammation develops, the tissues become scarred and tighten, which stops movement. This condition is called a frozen shoulder -- or in medical terms, adhesive capsulitis.

What increases my risk for frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder generally occurs after the age of 40. You’re more likely to develop the problem if you suffered a shoulder injury or had rotator cuff problems, like impingement.

At first, a frozen shoulder may seem like shoulder impingement, which also affects arm movement. However, the two problems are different. Shoulder impingement occurs when the rotator cuff tendons rub against the shoulder blade.

Although the experts aren’t sure why, they know that you also have a higher risk for frozen shoulder if you have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, a thyroid problem, or Parkinson’s disease.

What are the symptoms and stages of a frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder syndrome is known for causing intense, debilitating pain. Once the shoulder capsule begins to affect arm movement, a frozen shoulder progresses through three stages:

Freezing

Your shoulder pain gradually increases while the joint continues to lose its range of motion, making it more difficult to move your arm. The freezing stage lasts six weeks to nine months.

Frozen

At this stage, your pain may start to improve, but your shoulder is frozen or too stiff to allow movement. Simple daily tasks like brushing your hair are quite difficult or impossible. The frozen stage lasts four to six months.

Thawing

Your shoulder finally starts to improve, but progress is slow. Getting back to normal strength and movement takes six months to two years.

How is a frozen shoulder treated?

Dr. Eggleston develops a customized treatment plan that may include oral pain relievers or a steroid injection into the joint to reduce inflammation and pain. In addition to giving you some relief, treating the pain helps you engage in essential exercises to improve your range of motion.

In severe cases, Dr. Eggleston may recommend a procedure called hydrodilatation (injection of fluid into the joint) or surgery. Both procedures help to stretch and release the capsule.

When you start to notice shoulder pain and limited arm movement, call Eggleston Orthopedics or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.