INTRODUCTION : The purpose of this retrospective study was to investigate the possible short-term benefit of a single intraarticular
corticosteroid injection in those patients treated with physiotherapy when compared to a group of patients
undergoing physiotherapy only (PT only). METHODS : A retrospective chart review was conducted to identify eligible
patients treated over a 4-year period. All female patients between 40 years and 60 years with a confirmed clinical diagnosis
of idiopathic adhesive capsulitis who completed a prescribed physiotherapy program were considered eligible. Sixty-three
patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria, but 22 were excluded because of missing data in the medical record. The remaining
41 patients comprise the study cohort; an experienced musculoskeletal physiotherapist assessed these patients both at
initial presentation and at 12 weeks. Twenty patients with a mean age of 55.1 years underwent PT only and 21 patients
with a mean age of 52.4 years received a single intra-articular dose of 40 mg methylprednisolone followed by
physiotherapy. Outcome measures included the visual analogue scale (VAS) and measurement of range of motion.
RESULTS : At final assessment (12 weeks), significant between-group differences were identified for the ‘PT only’ group for
flexion (p ¼ 0.01) and abduction (p ¼ 0.008). When comparing the mean change from the initial assessment, a significant
between-group difference was observed for abduction (p ¼ 0.03). CONCLUSIONS : The results of this study suggest that the
intra-articular injection of a single dose of cortisone has no significant short-term benefit in female patients with idiopathic
adhesive capsulitis managed with physiotherapy.