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SA Orthopaedic Journal

On-line version ISSN 2309-8309
Print version ISSN 1681-150X


DE BEER, JF  and  LAM, F. Accessory features of frozen shoulder. SA orthop. j. [online]. 2008, vol.7, n.4, pp.24-29. ISSN 2309-8309.

We have described nine clinical features to aid the clinical diagnosis of frozen shoulder. These include symptoms of pain and pins-and-needles radiating down the arm to the hand, feeling of lameness in the arm, tenderness over the medial border of scapula, rotator interval and supraclavicular fossa, reduction of pain with passive abduction and forward flexion of the shoulder, asymmetry of the arm position at rest with an increase in elbow-to-waist distance and apparent winging of the scapula. In this prospective study, we report the sensitivity, specificity, predictive values and diagnostic accuracy of each clinical test and discuss their probable causes and clinical relevance. The single most accurate diagnostic test was relief of symptoms with abduction and flexion. In the diagnosis of a patient with a painful stiff shoulder, if six of the accessory features with the highest correlation are present, the probability of having frozen shoulder is 80%.

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