The two main symptoms of a frozen shoulder are pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint and they are caused when the sleeve that surrounds the joint becomes swollen and thickened. In most people the condition will eventually improve over time, but recovery is slow, and it can take at least 18 months to two years. If your symptoms are severe and other treatments haven’t worked then surgery may be an option.
There are three types of surgery that could be performed. Your surgeon could manipulate your shoulder so that the sleeve surrounding the shoulder joint is stretched, you could have keyhole surgery known as arthroscopy to cut through the thickened parts of the shoulder joint or the joint could be filled with a fluid to help free it up (hydrodilatation).
The first two options are performed under general anaesthetic but hydrodilatation is done under a local anaesthetic and takes about 15 minutes. After all three, you can usually go home the same day.
Surgery should mean you will have less pain and be able to use your shoulder more easily.
Physiotherapy is normally recommended after all three types of surgery.
As with all surgical procedures, there can be some risks. At The McIndoe Centre, we do everything we can to minimise risk of complications. Your surgeon will talk to you about any possible specific complications before you decide to have your operation.