Watchful Waiting as Effective as PT for Frozen Shoulder

A study presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ 2024 annual meeting suggests that watchful waiting for shoulder adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) is medically appropriate and can lead to substantial cost savings compared to physical therapy. Researchers found that patients who received no active treatment for the condition showed similar reductions in symptoms over a year as those who underwent physical therapy, but spent 10 times less on healthcare costs. The study took place at the Massachusetts General Hospital Sports Medicine Clinic over an 8-year period. Researchers are continuing to follow study participants for another year and will analyze outcomes at the 2-year mark.

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