Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 1317–1322 | Cite as

Prevalence and risk factors of adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder after breast cancer treatment

  • Seoyon Yang
  • Dae Hwan Park
  • Sei Hyun Ahn
  • Jisun Kim
  • Jong Won Lee
  • Jun Young Han
  • Dong Kyu Kim
  • Jae Yong Jeon
  • Kyoung Hyo Choi
  • Won KimEmail author
Original Article



The present study investigated the prevalence and risk factors of adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder in breast cancer patients between 13 and 18 months after surgery.


This study included 271 women who underwent surgery for breast cancer with a postoperative period of 13–18 months. Current adhesive capsulitis was defined as restriction of external rotation and one or more additional directional restrictions with history of shoulder pain. Cumulative adhesive capsulitis was defined as current adhesive capsulitis or a previous history of adhesive capsulitis after breast cancer surgery. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to examine associations between current or cumulative adhesive capsulitis and potential risk factors.


Among the 271 study patients, 28 (10.3%) and 21 (7.7%) had cumulative or current adhesive capsulitis, respectively. The incidences of cumulative and current adhesive capsulitis were higher in those aged 50–59 years (odds ratio [OR], 9.912; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.790–54.880; and OR, 12.395; 95% CI, 1.187–129.444, respectively) and those who underwent mastectomy (OR, 6.805; 95% CI, 1.800–25.733; and OR, 9.645; 95% CI, 2.075–44.829, respectively) or mastectomy with reconstruction (OR, 13.122; 95% CI, 2.488–69.218; and OR, 20.075; 95% CI, 2.873–140.261, respectively).


Adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder is a common problem after breast cancer treatment. An age of 50–59 years and mastectomy are major risk factors for adhesive capsulitis, and breast reconstruction additionally increases the risk. Patients with these risk factors require greater attention for early diagnosis and proper treatment.


Adhesive capsulitis Breast cancer Mastectomy Shoulder pain Risk factor 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest or financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research. The authors have had full control of all primary data and agree to allow the journal to review their data if requested.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seoyon Yang
    • 1
  • Dae Hwan Park
    • 1
  • Sei Hyun Ahn
    • 2
  • Jisun Kim
    • 2
  • Jong Won Lee
    • 2
  • Jun Young Han
    • 1
  • Dong Kyu Kim
    • 3
  • Jae Yong Jeon
    • 1
  • Kyoung Hyo Choi
    • 1
  • Won Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Asan Medical CenterUniversity of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Division of Breast-Endocrine Surgery, Department of Surgery, Asan Medical CenterUniversity of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationKosin University College of MedicineBusanSouth Korea

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