Surrounding the shoulder joint is strong connective tissue called the shoulder capsule. Frozen shoulder, technically called adhesive capsulitis, occurs when the shoulder capsule becomes thick and stiff. This condition usually develops slowly and is very painful with movement of the shoulder and range of motion is limited. The condition is more common in patients with diabetes. Frozen shoulder can often heal on its own or the patient can receive steroid injections, physical therapy, or other nonsurgical treatment to help the healing process. However, surgery may be needed if pain still persists.
Shoulder manipulation is a noninvasive procedure in which the patient is put under general anesthetic and the doctor moves the shoulder joint in various directions to stretch or release the shoulder capsule, releasing the tightness in the shoulder. Another surgical option for frozen shoulder is arthroscopy. In this procedure, scar tissue and stiff bands of tissue in the shoulder joint are removed. The doctor makes small incisions around the shoulder joint and inserts the tiny camera and instruments to perform the surgery arthroscopically, viewing the surgery on the television screen. With both manipulation and arthroscopic surgery, aggressive physical therapy is often needed to recover. If surgery and recovery is successful, patients have reduced pain and increased motion of the joint.
You don't have to continue living with shoulder pain. Our specialists at Triangle Orthopaedics can access you and help you find the best treatment for your condition. Please contact us at any of our offices throughout North Carolina today with any questions.
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