Adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder is a condition of unknown etiology that results in the development of restriction of active and passive glenohumeral motion. The authors will review what currently is known about the etiology of idiopathic adhesive capsulitis, will raise unanswered questions regarding etiology and treatment, and will define a stage-based evaluation and treatment program. Treatment options including benign neglect, home-based and supervised physical therapy, intraarticular corticosteroid injections, closed manipulations, and arthroscopic capsular release will be reviewed critically and the authors' approach to the treatment of patients with idiopathic adhesive capsulitis also will be presented. Additionally, areas of future research will be defined.
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