Medical Definition of Adhesive capsulitis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Adhesive capsulitis: A condition in which a person has constant severe limitation of the range of motion of the shoulder due to scarring around the shoulder joint. Adhesive capsulitis is an unwanted consequence of rotator cuff disease that involves damage to the rotator cuff. The affected joint is characteristically painful and tender to palpation. Physical therapy and cortisone injections are often helpful. Surgery is used in advanced cases. Also known as frozen shoulder.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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