CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Joints 2017; 05(04): 217-223
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1608951
Review Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Risk Factors for Shoulder Stiffness: Current Concepts

Davide Cucchi1, 2, Antongiulio Marmotti3, Silvana De Giorgi4, Alberto Costa5, Rocco D'Apolito6, Marco Conca7, Alessandro Russo8, Maristella F. Saccomanno9, Laura de Girolamo10, SIGASCOT Research Committee
  • 1Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
  • 2Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  • 3Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University of Torino, Turin, Italy
  • 4Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sensory Organs, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
  • 5Departemnt of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Orlandi Hospital, Bussolengo, Verona, Italy
  • 6Department of Orthopaedics, S. Giovanni Calibita Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Rome, Italy
  • 7UO Ortopedia Clinica San Carlo, Paderno Dugnano, Milan, Italy
  • 8Laboratorio di Biomeccanica e Innovazione Tecnologica—Clinica II, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy
  • 9Department of Orthopaedics, Catholic University, “A. Gemelli” University Hospital, Rome, Italy
  • 10Laboratorio di Biotecnologie applicate all'Ortopedia, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan, Italy
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
11 December 2017 (eFirst)


Shoulder stiffness is a condition of painful restriction of the glenohumeral range of motion. Numerous risk factors for primary and postoperative shoulder stiffness have been described. This article summarizes the known aspects of the pathophysiology of shoulder stiffness, with special attention to elements of molecular biology and genetics, which could influence the risk of developing shoulder stiffness. Furthermore, the role of hormonal and metabolic factors, medical disorders, drugs, and of other published risk factors for primary and postoperative shoulder stiffness is reviewed and discussed. Finally, aspects related to shoulder surgery and postoperative rehabilitation protocols, which could influence the development of postoperative stiffness are presented.