Posted on August 4, 2016

Study finds success in treatment for Frozen Shoulder.Dr. Katharine Vadasdi, Shoulder Surgeon

Promising results of a new study by ONS orthopedic shoulder surgeon Katherine Vadasdi, MD and other researchers were published this month in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. The study, The Effect of Myofibroblasts and Corticosteroid Injections in Adhesive Capsulitis, was conducted to investigate the effect  that steroid injections administered directly into the shoulder joint would have on the painful and limiting condition called Adhesive Capsulitis.

Also known as Frozen Shoulder, Adhesive Capsulitis is a common, severely painful condition that leads to stiffness and reduced range of motion in the joint.  In the study, Dr. Vadasdi and the research team evaluated the changes in the lining of the joint that contributes to or causes Frozen Shoulder. They discovered an increase in a certain cell type called myofibroblasts, which cause the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint to contact and form scar tissue, leading to pain and increasing stiffness.  Steroid injections directly into the joint, however, reduced the increase in myofibroblasts, and helped reverse and prevent progression of the condition.

Frozen Shoulder most commonly affects women between the ages of 40 and 60 years.  Most cases of Frozen Shoulder can be resolved non-operatively through stretching, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections.  In severe cases, a procedure known as arthroscopic capsular release is performed to break up the adhesions. The findings in Dr. Vadasdi’s study suggest  a more rapid resolution of the condition and possibly a decrease in cases needing surgery.

The Effect of Myofibroblasts and Corticosteroid Injections in Adhesive Capsulitis, Carolyn M. Hettrich, MD, MPH, Edward F. DiCarlo, MD, Deborah Faryniarz, MD, Katherine B. Vadasdi, MD, Riley Williams, MD, Jo A. Hannafin, MD, PhD. 1274-1279. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery (25) 2016

Dr. Vadasdi is an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician who specializes in conditions of the shoulder, knee and elbow. She is the Director of the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at ONS and is a sought after speaker on the topic of women and sports injury and prevention.  Her chosen area of medical specialty reflects her personal interests.  She is an accomplished triathlete, having completed Ironman competitions in 2007 and 2009. Dr. Vadasdi is also an alpine climber and has ascended Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Rainier, and the Grand Teton, among others.