JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Shoulder activity level in patients with idiopathic adhesive capsulitis.

BACKGROUND: Idiopathic adhesive capsulitis is a common condition resulting in painful multidirectional restriction of motion. Adhesive capsulitis may inhibit shoulder activity level, but this relationship has not been previously studied. This study tested the hypothesis that patients with idiopathic adhesive capsulitis have lower shoulder activity than sex- and age-matched controls.

METHODS: Seventy-two eligible patients (37 men and 35 women) with idiopathic adhesive capsulitis completed a validated shoulder activity scale that was compared with sex- and age-matched norms from a healthy population with no history of shoulder disorders. The association of shoulder activity level with patient age, sex, and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons and Simple Shoulder Test (SST) scores was evaluated.

RESULTS: Overall, 58% of patients actually had higher shoulder activity scores than sex- and age-matched controls. Among patients aged 51 to 70 years, 68% of patients (73% of men and 63% of women) demonstrated higher Shoulder Activity Scale scores compared with controls. The activity level was higher among all patients aged 51 to 70 years compared with controls (10.3 ± 1.48 vs. 8 ± 0.52, P = .0067). The difference was significant for men in this age group (12.2 ± 1.7 vs. 9 ± 0.75, P = .0042). There was a statistically significant positive correlation of the Shoulder Activity Scale score with the SST score (r = 0.31, P = .009).

CONCLUSION: Patients with idiopathic adhesive capsulitis do not have a lower shoulder activity level than sex- and age-matched controls, and older men may actually have a higher level of shoulder activity than controls. Shoulder activity level is correlated with the SST score in patients with idiopathic adhesive capsulitis.

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