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  1. Trachsel, Janie M.


Adhesive capsulitis (AC), also known as frozen shoulder, is a common and painful musculoskeletal disorder. The shoulder is a complex joint comprising 3 bones and multiple muscle groups, ligaments, and tendons. Accompanying the inflammation of the joint is stiffness that greatly restricts the patient's motion and strength. AC is a treatable condition requiring months of daily physical therapy. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (2007) reports that 1 in 7 Americans has a musculoskeletal impairment including shoulder problems that accounted for 14 million visits to physicians' offices in 2003. It is imperative that practitioners accurately assess and diagnose the patient with shoulder pain to facilitate an appropriate plan of care. This paper will discuss the case of a patient with AC including differential diagnoses, pathophysiology, and treatment options.