Should patients with frozen shoulder be screened for diabetes mellitus?

Ori Safran*, Madi El-Haj, Gil Leibowitz, Shaul Beyth, Zohar Furman, Charles Milgrom, Leonid Kandel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Idiopathic frozen shoulder (nontraumatic) is commonly encountered in patients between the ages of 35 and 60 years in general orthopaedic practice. While the prevalence of frozen shoulder among the general population is estimated to be between 2% and 4%, a significantly higher prevalence of 10% to 22% has been reported in patients with diabetes mellitus. Since diabetic patients are more prone to develop frozen shoulder than nondiabetics, the question arises as to whether patients diagnosed as having idiopathic frozen shoulder are at greater risk to develop diabetes mellitus and should be routinely screened for this condition. Purpose: To compare the prevalence of diabetes mellitus and prediabetes among patients diagnosed with idiopathic frozen shoulder who are not known to have either diabetes mellitus or prediabetic conditions with that of an age-matched group from the general population. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: Patients at a shoulder clinic with a diagnosis of idiopathic frozen shoulder were asked to participate in the study if they were aged between 35 to 60 years and had no known previous diagnosis of diabetes mellitus or prediabetic conditions. These patients underwent a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test. According to their fasting and 2-hour plasma glucose levels, patients were diagnosed as normal glucose tolerance, prediabetic, or diabetic. Findings were matched with the prevalence in an age-matched general population. Results: Fifty patients completed the test. Four patients with idiopathic frozen shoulder (8%) were found to be prediabetic. No patient was found to be diabetic. All 4 patients reported a history of diabetes in their parents or siblings. Conclusion: Patients diagnosed with idiopathic frozen shoulder who are 60 years or younger and are not known diabetics have a similar probability of having diabetes or prediabetes to an age-matched population. No routine diabetic workup is warranted specifically for these patients.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2325967117716450
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.


  • Adhesive capsulitis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Glucose
  • Screening
  • Shoulder


Dive into the research topics of 'Should patients with frozen shoulder be screened for diabetes mellitus?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this