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

Publication History

Publication Date:
11 December 2017 (online)



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.