Understanding the clinical profile of patients with frozen shoulder: a longitudinal multicentre observational study

Michel Gcam Mertens, Mira Meeus, Suzie Noten, Olivier Verborgt, Erik Fransen, Enrique Lluch Girbés, Marta Aguilar Rodríguez, Santiago Navarro-Ledesma, Manuel Fernandez-Sanchez, Alejandro Luque-Suarez, Filip Struyf, Lirios Dueñas

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INTRODUCTION: There is a large diversity in the clinical presentation of frozen shoulder (FS) and the clinical outcome is not always satisfactory. The aim of the current study was to examine to what extent range of motion (ROM) limitation, metabolic factors (diabetes mellitus and thyroid disorders), autonomic symptoms and pain sensitivity may contribute to the prognosis in terms of shoulder pain and disability and quality of life in patients with FS. METHODS: Patients with stage 1 or 2 FS were longitudinally followed-up during 9 months after baseline assessment. They completed six questionnaires and underwent quantitative sensory testing (pressure pain thresholds, temporal summation and conditioned pain modulation) and ROM assessment. RESULTS: One hundred and forty-nine patients with FS were initially recruited and 121 completed at least one follow-up measurement. Shoulder pain and disability improved over time and diabetes mellitus was found to be a prognostic factor for final outcome. Several domains of quality of life also improved over time and external rotation ROM, diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorder and autonomic symptoms were found to be prognostic factors for final outcome. These prognostic factors explained 2.5%-6.3% of the final outcome of shoulder pain and disability and quality of life. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: In patients with FS, prognostic variables were able to predict different outcomes, indicating that outcomes in this population can be variable-dependent. Other variables not explored in this study might contribute to the prognosis of patients with FS, which should be investigated in future research. In clinical practice, baseline assessment of prognostic factors and focusing on a more holistic approach might be useful to inform healthcare practitioners about progression of patients with FS during a 9-month period.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere056563
Pages (from-to)e056563
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2022

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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


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