August 27, 2018

Bilateral Frozen Shoulder

Adhesive capsulitis frozen shoulder frequently occurs in the nondominant extremity, but, according to recent research, it will occur in both shoulders in up to 40% to 50% of cases!  

Bilateral frozen shoulder patients, that get adhesive capsulitis frozen shoulder on both sides, have told us that their health practitioners were either unaware of the possibility of getting frozen shoulder in both arms at the same time, or that they didn’t believe the patient when they first told them about it. Why are some health practitioners unaware that patients can get frozen shoulder in both arms at the same time? 

Bilateral frozen shoulder patients have told us that their health practitioners were either unaware of the possibility of getting frozen shoulder in both arms at the same time, or that they didn’t believe the patient when they first told them about it.

According to the research, it is possible to get frozen shoulder in both arms simultaneously in approximately 14% of cases. What is more common (40-50%) is for a person to get frozen shoulder in one shoulder and then a few months or years later, develop it in the other shoulder.

Either way, once you have had frozen shoulder on one side, the prospect of getting it on the other side is depressing and frightening. When you attend to have the MCD operation performed, Dr. Oolo-Austin will discuss with you, what you can do to lessen this strong possibility.

Bilateral Frozen Shoulder Causes–How Can I Get Frozen Shoulder In Both Arms?

The specific causes overlap with the general causes that Dr. Oolo-Austin hypothesizes in his Perfect Storm Etiology Triad. According to Dr. Oolo-Austin, specific conditions co-exist in the body which contribute to the development of frozen shoulder. If even just one condition is present, it would simply take a shoulder strain or injury to set off an inflammation cascade which would lead to a frozen shoulder.

Can frozen shoulder spread to my other shoulder? If so, how?

A person with frozen shoulder will tend to overuse the “good arm.” This is natural as frozen shoulder sufferers dread moving their arm and possibly giving themselves a “zinger.” Overusing the arm leads to fatigue and/or strain. Moreover, it could lead to tightness or stiffness in the muscles of the good arm as the muscles become overfacilitated from receiving too many signals from the nervous system. Lastly, bilateral frozen shoulder patients almost always have some degree of nerve compression in the neck and shoulder on both sides.

Can You Treat Frozen Shoulder If I Have It In Both Arms?

YES. The MCD Procedure can be done on patients who have bilateral frozen shoulder. We have performed the operation on many patients with frozen shoulder in both arms at the same time. The procedure takes longer and the patient qualification process is stricter. This is because we want to maintain our very high success rate.

One recent bilateral frozen shoulder patients was Kathleen Marinaccio, a 49 year old crossfit enthusiast from Los Angeles. Kathleen had frozen shoulder in not one but BOTH her shoulders! She had been suffering in her right arm for a year before she got it in her left arm and had it for 2 months. When she eventually went to see a doctor, they told her they were unaware you can have frozen shoulder in both arms. She was literally brought to tears after she regained her range of motion after the MCD Procedure.

If you suffer from frozen shoulder or if a friend or loved one does, please request a free phone consultation with us. Learn about treatment options that are available to you. Frozen shoulder is a terrible affliction that more people need to know about. It’s doubly painful and debilitating having it in both arms.


Video transcript below:

Dr. O: When was the last time you did that?
Kathleen: No? I don’t know! Wait. This is the best one. Watch. (hugs her father)

Patient’s Husband: That’s what I want. Right there. I haven’t had a hug like that for a long time.

Kathleen: I woke up one morning and I couldn’t move my arm and it was really painful. And I thought I tore my rotator cuff because I do crossfit. So I was basically treating it as a torn rotator cuff. So I went to get some prolotherapy from my buddy who does prolotherapy and he’s like, “You don’t have a torn rotator cuff. You’re fine!” And I was like, “Well what’s wrong with me?” So, he said “I think you have frozen shoulder.” And then my crossfit co-owner who is a PT, said, “You have frozen shoulder.” So we started treating it by doing acupuncture, physical therapy… And then I found you!

Dr. O: Somehow on the internet!
Kathleen: Yes, and I sat and watched videos of all the people you helped for like two hours while crying, thinking, “Can he help me?”

Hi, I’m Kathleen and I am here from Los Angeles. I’m 49 years old and I’ve had frozen shoulder in my right arm since about August September of 2017 and it’s now July 2018. And then two months ago I

got it in my left shoulder so I came to Dr. Austin Oolo and we had the procedure, the OAT yesterday. And I’m doing very well. I’m in a little bit of pain just from the procedure itself but my range of motion is great and I can move so I can show you what I can do?

Dr. Omar: Yeah, let’s do that.

Kathleen: So, when I got here I can only go here and now I could go all the way up and it’s not even been 24 hours because I had my procedure at like 3 o’clock yesterday.

Dr. Omar: And what do you think about that?

Kathleen: I think it’s amazing! I’m tired from staying up all night but it’s good and then I can go straight up not a problem. And I can even reach behind my back. This one’s easier–which I couldn’t do at all. And up here which I couldn’t do. And I have zero nerve pain and no pain here whatsoever from the missteps of moving when you have frozen shoulder.

Dr. Omar: Good! So what would you say to others who are suffering from frozen shoulder?

Kathleen: I would say don’t wait. Get your x-rays and call and come in! It is a little painful when you get it but it’s over fast and it’s definitely worth it!

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