Nonoperative and operative treatment modalities have been used for symptom management of adhesive capsulitis, but neither has been shown to significantly alter the long-term natural history.
The purpose was to evaluate the current trends in resource and treatment strategy utilization for patients with adhesive capsulitis. It was hypothesized that (1) patients with idiopathic adhesive capsulitis will primarily undergo nonoperative treatment and (2) patients with systemic medical comorbidities will demonstrate relatively higher utilization of nonoperative therapies.
Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3.
We searched the Mariner/PearlDiver database for Current Procedural Terminology
and International Classification of Diseases
codes to identify patients with adhesive capsulitis from 2010 to 2020 and to track their usage of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, including radiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), physical therapy, surgery, opioids, and injection. Patients with active records 1 year before and 2 years after initial diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis were eligible. Excluded were patients with secondary causes of adhesive capsulitis, such as fracture, infection, prior surgery, or other intra-articular pathology.
The median age of this 165,937-patient cohort was 58 years, with 67% being women. There was a high prevalence of comorbid diabetes (44.2%), thyroid disorder (29.6%), and Dupuytren contracture (1.3%). Within 2 years of diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis, diagnostic and therapeutic modality utilization included radiography (47.2%), opioids (46.7%), physical therapy (43.1%), injection (39.0%), MRI (15.8%), arthroscopic surgery (2.7%), and manipulation under anesthesia (2.5%). Over 68% of the diagnostic and therapeutic modalities were rendered from 3 months before to 3 months after diagnosis. Patients with diabetes, thyroid disorders, tobacco use, and obesity had greater odds for treatment with physical therapy, opioids, radiography, and injection when compared with patients without these comorbidities (odds ratio [OR] range, 1.05-2.21; P
< .0001). Patients with diabetes and thyroid disorders had decreased odds for surgery (OR range, 0.88-0.91; P
≤ .003). Patients with Dupuytren contracture had increased odds for all therapeutic modalities (OR range, 1.20-1.68; P
Patients with adhesive capsulitis underwent primarily nonoperative treatment, with a high percentage utilizing opioids. The most active periods for treatment were from 3 months before diagnosis to 3 months after, and patients with medical comorbidities were more likely to undergo nonoperative treatment.