Adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder, is not understood very well. It affects primarily the tissue closest to the joint articular surfaces – the joint capsule. Essentially, pathology progresses with the calcification the capsular tissue up until it is completely calcified. Symptoms include pain and progressive loss of mobility ending with the complete loss of shoulder range of motion.
Causes are not known, but some of the precipitating are as follows: minor traumas, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, prolonged immobilization of the shoulder, fractures and surgical repairs of structures around the shoulder.
The disease has been characterized as having a freezing, frozen and thawing stage and has been said to be self-limiting having a six month to a two year cycle.