Gregory Gasbarro, M.D., is a Fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon at The Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand Center at Mercy in Baltimore, Maryland.
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When patients experience shoulder pain or stiffness, they turn to the orthopedic doctors at The Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand Center at Mercy. Mercy's team specializes in diagnosing shoulder conditions, including frozen shoulder, and offering treatment options aimed at getting patients back to normal activities.
Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, most often occurs after the shoulder has been immobile for long periods of time due to stroke, surgery, injury or certain medical conditions such as thyroid disease, diabetes or heart disease. Untreated bursitis and tendonitis also can cause frozen shoulder. The shoulder’s bones, tendons and ligaments are contained in a capsule of connective tissue. When this capsule thickens or tightens around the joint, the shoulder can become difficult to move causing the shoulder to freeze.
Frozen shoulder symptoms include:
Symptoms of frozen shoulder develop gradually and eventually get worse. Often within a year to two years the symptoms will disappear.
Diagnosis of a frozen shoulder most often is made during a physical exam performed by an orthopedic doctor specializing in shoulder conditions. The shoulder specialist will have patients move their arms in certain directions to evaluate pain and range of motion.
In addition, the orthopedic specialist will move the arm while patients relax their muscles. This test helps to distinguish between frozen shoulder and rotator cuff injury.
Frozen shoulder treatment options include:
Most frozen shoulders do not need surgical intervention because they heal on their own. When surgery is needed, treatment options include:
The Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, is led by orthopedic surgeons specializing in the comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand conditions, including but not limited to bursitis, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. Mercy Medical Center has been named one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery, placing it among the top shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand hospitals.
The Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand Center is part of The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital at Mercy Medical Center.