Percutaneous Interruption of the Coracohumeral Ligament for the Treatment of Frozen Shoulder

Percutaneous Interruption of the Coracohumeral Ligament for the Treatment of Frozen Shoulder.


Lead Sponsor: Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Source Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Brief Summary

Sectioning/resection of coracohumeral ligament in patients suffering from adhesive capsulitis. The resection/sectioning will be done using Tenex device.

Detailed Description

Chronic inflammation of the shoulder joint capsule and its associated structures can lead to clinically significant symptoms, including insidious onset of pain, and ultimately restricting range of motion. Although the underlying mechanism for adhesive capsulitis (AC) is not well defined, some studies suggest that fibroblast proliferation and thickening of the coracohumeral ligament (CHL) is a proposed mechanism for which AC and subsequent prolonged immobilization and symptoms present (1, 2, 3). Other studies suggest that it is due to a combination of capsular fibrosis and inflammation within the synovium, and other focus on the fact that thickening of the CHL is responsible for limiting external rotation in patients affected by adhesive capsulitis (1).

AC coined frozen shoulder by Codman in 1934 [2), has an estimated prevalence of 2-3% in the general population, with ages 40-70 affected most commonly, and predominantly women. While the precise etiology remains undefined, it can be secondary to trauma or an idiopathic etiology and has been found to have an incidence as high as 20% in diabetic patients, with worse functional outcomes when compared to non-diabetic patients. Hypothyroidism and cerebrovascular disease have also been shown to be associated with an increased risk of developing AC (4). AC is typically a clinical diagnosis. However, both magnetic resonance and ultrasonography have consistently shown thickening of the CHL (1). Several studies have compared arthrographic evidence of findings in adhesive capsulitis, and many reported a thickening of the CHL in cases of frozen shoulder as compared to control subjects (2). In a study implementing shear-wave elastography (SWE), the CHL in patients diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis was thicker and stiffer (4).

Interventions aimed at improving AC and CHL damage, clinical symptomatology, as well as histopathological findings range from rest and physical therapy, local injections and hydrodilation, to advanced surgical interventions (4, 5). These surgical options include manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) and arthroscopic capsulotomy. MUA is an aggressive mobilization of the joint in an effort to lyse adhesions and to stretch the contracted glenohumeral capsule. Despite potential benefits, MUA has been associated with superior labral anterior and posterior (SLAP) lesions, bankart lesions, capsular tears, hemarthrosis, and even humeral or glenoid fractures (4). Arthroscopic capsulotomy allows for direct visualization of the CHL and confirmation of the diagnosis of AC, and several studies have shown improvement in pain relief as well as range of motion (4). However, patients who did not benefit from this intervention were women, typically over the age of 50, with a past medical history of diabetes mellitus. CHL resection has also been described as a potential treatment option for AC (6, 7), with current therapy limited to a surgical approach. Management of refractory disease through arthroscopic capsular release has been shown to improve pain and increase range-of-motion (8, 9, 4). A sequela of arthroscopic surgery is postoperative persistent AC, which some surgeons attempt to prophylactically prevent with adequate postoperative pain control so that the patient can participate in a physical therapy program. The potential limitations of current conservative management and sequelae of surgical approaches have prompted additional novel therapies. International have researchers developed an ultrasound guided technique with a scalpel incision of the CHL to address this need. Scalpel use is not the standard of care for interventional musculoskeletal pain treatments and our team decided to improve this limitation. Blades and scalpels limit US visibility, thus marginalizing the safety of the procedure. Our team used a percutaneous, ultrasound visible, needle shaped, tissue cutting device to lesion the CHL while improving upon the potential safety concerns. The tool, TENEX®, is widely used by Pain physicians to perform percutaneous tenotomies and has been described in the management of various tendinous pathologies (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15).; this device was selected because the gross architectural similarities of tendon and ligament suggest that the CHL could be modified by this tool. Our novel procedure was performed on cadavers to provide proof of concept

The authors performed cadaveric dissection in 8 cadaveric shoulders with the hypothesis that sonographically guided percutaneous dissection will result in sectioning of the coracohumeral ligament. In this study we found that complete sectioning was reproducibly achieved in 7 minutes with approximately 250 passes of the device. This was the desired outcome for improving the shoulder ROM (16). This shows proof of concept and we want to perform this procedure in living subjects for validation. If the results are positive patients can have an outpatient procedure in the interventional pain clinic with desirable results. This cadaveric technique study has already been submitted to Pain Medicine journal for publication.

Given the significance of CHL hypertrophy in AC, the authors believe lesioning this pathologic ligament will result in significant improvement for patients suffering from AC. This study aims to use sonographically guided percutaneous sectioning of coracohumeral ligament for the treatment of AC. This novel technique is minimally invasive, and we present our findings with proof of concept for a clinical technical treatment of the CHL in patients with frozen shoulder. The patients we will be recruiting will be subjects who have failed the conservative treatment and are not surgical candidates. The investigators will explain the risks and the procedure and take informed consent.

Overall Status Not yet recruiting
Start Date October 1, 2020
Completion Date November 1, 2022
Primary Completion Date October 1, 2022
Phase N/A
Study Type Interventional
Primary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Range of Motion of the shoulder Immediately following procedure, up to 60 minutes
Secondary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Change in Range Of Motion (ROM) of the shoulder Baseline (Before the procedure) and at 1 month
Change of pain intensity score Baseline (Before the procedure) the procedure and at 1 month
Opioid prescription use Baseline (Before the procedure) the procedure and at 1 month
Enrollment 57

Intervention Type: Device

Intervention Name: Tenex

Description: Local anesthetic plus tenex into the coaracohumeral ligament for adhesive capsulitis

Arm Group Label: Tenex plus local anesthetic

Intervention Type: Drug

Intervention Name: Local anesthetic

Description: Only local anesthetic into the coracohumeral ligament for adhesive capsulitis



Inclusion Criteria:

- Established Diagnosis of Adhesive capsulitis (AC) Ligament Flavum >3mm, diagnosed by US evaluation decreased shoulder ROM in external rotation and abduction (50% of unaffected side)

- Patients who have tried other conventional therapies like steroid treatments, surgical treatments, physiotherapy with little (defined by less than 20 degrees improvement in shoulder ROM - external rotation) to no improvement in the shoulder ROM

Exclusion Criteria:

- Age less than 18 years and greater than 89 years

- Patients with AC but showing improvement in shoulder ROM progressively (defined by improvement in ROM > 200 external rotation or 20 degrees per week when undergoing physiotherapy)

- Patients who are currently pregnant

Gender: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 89 Years

Healthy Volunteers: No

Overall Official
Last Name Role Affiliation
Sayed Wahezi, MD Principal Investigator Montefiore Medical Center
Overall Contact

Last Name: Sandeep Yerra

Phone: 718-920-8289

Email: [email protected]

Facility: Contact:
Montefiore Medical Center | New York, New York, 10461, United States Sandeep Yerra 718-920-8289 [email protected]
Montefiore medical Center | New York, New York, 10461, United States
Location Countries

United States

Verification Date

September 2020

Responsible Party

Type: Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation: Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Investigator Full Name: Sayed Wahezi

Investigator Title: Program Director

Has Expanded Access No
Condition Browse
Number Of Arms 2
Arm Group

Label: Tenex plus local anesthetic

Type: Experimental

Description: Use of the TENEX device for sectioning of the CHL

Label: Local Anesthetic

Type: Other

Description: Only Local anesthetic will be injected into the CHL. This arm will have the option to cross over into Tenex arm at 1 month

Acronym CHLTenex
Patient Data No
Study Design Info

Allocation: Randomized

Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment

Primary Purpose: Treatment

Masking: None (Open Label)