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June 1948

CAUSATION AND TREATMENT OF PAINFUL STIFF SHOULDER: Subdeltoid Bursitis, Periarthritis, Tendinitis and Adhesive Capsulitis

Author Affiliations

Dr. Meyerding is from the Section on Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, and Dr. Ivins is a Fellow in Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Foundation.

Arch Surg. 1948;56(6):693-708. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1948.01240010704001

MUCH of the confusion that confronts the medical profession in dealing with disabling conditions of the shoulder attended with pain and stiffness is the result of the terminology employed. The following diagnoses are commonly used without regard for the actual pathologic changes present: subdeltoid bursitis (1867 and 1869), subacromial bursitis or adherent subacromial bursitis, calcified bursitis, frozen shoulder, arthritis, Duplay's disease (1872), periarthritis, scapulohumeral arthritis, periarticular adhesions, bicipital tenosynovitis, peritendinitis, tendinitis of the short rotators, adhesive capsulitis, osteoporosis, neuritis, fibrositis, myositis, post-traumatic strains and sprains, musculotendinous cuff tears, Codman's1 "rim rents" (first mentioned in 1902) and many others. Furthermore, painful stiff shoulders may result from trauma with or without fracture, infections, such as osteomyelitis, or septic joints, from mastectomy or some other regional surgical procedure, from primary or secondary tumors and from many other skeletal lesions. Osteoporosis may accompany the lesion. All these conditions may be attended with a