Purpose: To present the clinical results of arthroscopic extended rotator interval release with a stretching program for treating refractory adhesive capsulitis. Study design: Case series; level of evidence, 4. Methods: Arthroscopy-assisted extended rotator interval tissue release including anterior capsular was performed in 26 patients with refractory adhesive capsulitis. All rotator interval tissues, except the medial sling of the biceps, were excised and the excursion of the subscapularis tendon was restored and freely mobilized. The preoperative mean passive forward flexion was 101°, whereas external rotation at the side was 10°. Patients were followed for a minimum of 2 years and their visual analog scale for pain, muscle power, range of motion, Constant score, modified American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Shoulder Evaluation Form score, and modified University of California at Los Angeles score were recorded. Results: Visual pain scale and the aforementioned clinical scores improved postoperatively. The patients exhibited a significant postoperative difference in forward flexion, external rotation, and internal rotation. Postoperative mean passive forward flexion was 172°, whereas external rotation at the side was 58°. There was no difference in the muscle power postoperatively including abduction, internal rotation, and external rotation. Conclusions: Our study revealed satisfactory subjective and objective clinical results after a 2-year follow-up. Arthroscopy-assisted extended rotator interval release with a stretching program could be an alternative treatment for refractory adhesive capsulitis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Adhesive capsulitis
  • Arthroscopic surgery
  • Capsule release
  • Stiff shoulder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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