Issue: May 2018
May 03, 2018
2 min read

New approaches for frozen shoulder treatment

Issue: May 2018
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Innovation in orthopaedics and traumatology is slowly, but surely influencing medical practice by replacing well-established procedures with new techniques whenever an adapted application is possible. The main theme of the EFORT 2018 Congress is Innovation and New Technologies, which focuses on the rapid and extensive evolution of surgery and treatment options within the worldwide orthopaedics and traumatology community. Indeed, nowadays, new methods considerably improve and speed up the diagnosis and treatment done in most areas of the orthopaedic field.

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Adhesive capsulitis – commonly referred to as “frozen shoulder” – is the most frequent and misdiagnosed disabling disorder affecting the shoulder capsule and the connective tissue surrounding the glenohumeral joint. Symptoms are inflammation and stiffness accompanied by an important restriction of shoulder motion and ultimately leading to chronic pain. This painful condition is erroneously associated with arthritis, but does it not involve multiple joints or directly affect tendons. Conservative methods are the mainstay of treatment in early phase, but additional promising results have been recently reported using new strategies.

Etiology of frozen shoulder is unknown, but several risk factors have been identified, such as diabetes, tonic seizures, disorders of connective tissues and diseases of the thyroid, lungs or even heart problems. Effective treatments, on the other hand, are well-defined and include physical, occupational or massage therapies, hydrodilatation (non-surgical radiological distension arthrography), manipulation under anesthesia to break the adhesions and scar tissue in the joint to restore some range of motion and surgery. Physical therapy actively works on the shoulder flexibility and is therefore the main recommendation for treating frozen shoulder. Some other non-surgical alternative approaches exist, but results can vary significantly, depending on the type and severity of the condition. While steroid injections have been used to reduce pain and increase shoulder motion since many years, two new surgical techniques focusing on loosening the joint tissue have recently gained popularity in shoulder clinics. Indeed, in cases where the symptoms are not relieved by conservative methods, surgery, combining manipulation under anesthesia and shoulder arthroscopy will be considered.

Thursday 31 May | 17:00 to 18:30
Frozen Shoulder: New Strategies for Treatment

Moderation: Ata Can Atalar (Turkey)

Role for Oral Medication and Injections: Update In 2018 | Mehmet Demirhan (Turkey)

What Are the Limits of Conservative Treatment? | Ronald Diercks (Netherlands)

Manipulation Under Anesthesia vs. Arthroscopic Treatment. Which Patient and How? | Ofer Levy (United Kingdom)

Secondary Frozen Shoulder Overview: Stiffness After Surgery | Alexandre Lädermann (Switzerland)


The faculty members participating to this session will broadly discuss the use of injections and rehabilitation in frozen shoulder treatment. In late phase, some patients need more invasive methods such as manipulation under anesthesia or surgery. These supplementary procedures will also be covered in the presentations of experienced surgeons treating this specific condition daily. Benefits and outcome after surgical treatment is another topic on which the panel of speakers will focus. Lastly, as not all frozen shoulders are idiopathic, general stiffness after shoulder surgery will be discussed with its causes, prevention and treatment suggestions, including new methods of treatment for this common clinical situation.

The symposium “Frozen Shoulder: New Strategies for Treatment” is part of the core scientific program of the 19th EFORT Congress and is open to fully-registered attendees. All details to sign-up are available on our registration platform. Visit our 2018 congress website and prepare your participation.