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Med Princ Pract. 2019 Sep 4. doi: 10.1159/000503086. [Epub ahead of print]

Can Collagenase Be Used in the Treatment of Adhesive Capsulitis?



The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of subacromial injections of collagenase and corticosteroid in rats with experimentally-induced adhesive capsulitis.


Thirty adult Wistar albino male rats were distributed into 3 groups of 10 rats each after stabilization of their shoulders for 3 weeks: the first group received a single dose of 0.002 mg (0.25 mL) subacromial collagenase; the second group received a single dose of 1.60 mg (0.25 mL) subacromial steroid, and the third group received a single dose of 0.25 mL subacromial saline solution. One week later, we investigated shoulder range of motions, collagen content of the shoulder, and joint cartilage structure.


There was no statistically significant difference in the cartilage damage between the groups (p > 0.05). Fibrosis measurements were significantly lower in the collagenase group than in the steroid and saline groups. There was no significant difference in fibrosis between the steroid and saline groups (p > 0.05). Abduction measurements were significantly higher in the collagenase group than in the steroid and saline groups (p < 0.001). No significant difference in the abduction measurements was observed between the saline and steroid groups (p > 0.05).


We observed that subacromial injections of collagenase clostridium histolyticum effectively treated adhesive capsulitis. The results suggest that this treatment could be considered for use in patients with an intact rotator cuff.

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