Adhesive Capsulitis—Arthroscopic Surgery
(Frozen Shoulder—Arthroscopic Surgery)
Pronounced: ad-HEE-siv cap-soo-LIGHT-iss
Adhesive capsulitis is a tightening in the shoulder joint. It decreases the range of motion in the shoulder and causes pain. This condition is also known as frozen shoulder]]>. It is caused by tightening of the soft tissue and formation of scar tissue.
During this arthroscopic surgery, the doctor cuts and removes scar tissue around the shoulder. The goal of the procedure is to improve range-of-motion by breaking up scar tissue
Reasons for Procedure
This procedure is done to:
- Relieve pain
- Restore range of motion in the shoulder joint
- Break up scar tissue
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have arthroscopic shoulder surgery, your doctor will review a list of possible complications which may include:
- Nerve injury
- Damage to soft tissue
- Instability or stiffness in joint
- Reaction to anesthesia used
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may do the following:
- Physical exam
- Blood and urine tests
- X-ray]]>—a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body, especially bones
- ]]>MRI scan]]>—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners, such as ]]>clopidogrel]]> (Plavix) or ]]>warfarin]]> (Coumadin)
Leading up to the procedure:
- Arrange for a ride to and from the hospital. Also, arrange for help at home after the surgery.
- The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight. If you have diabetes, you may need to adjust your medicines. Talk to your doctor about this.
- If told to do so by your doctor, on the day of the surgery, shower using a special antibacterial soap. Do not use deodorant.
]]>General anesthesia]]> is used for this surgery. You will be asleep.
Description of the Procedure
Three small incisions will be made in your shoulder. A special tool called an arthroscope will be inserted. An arthroscope is a flexible tube with a light at the end and a camera attached. This will allow the doctor to view the inside of the shoulder on a screen. Tiny instruments will be inserted into the other incisions. The doctor will then cut and remove scar tissue. The incisions will be closed with stitches.
Immediately After Procedure
You will be taken to a recovery room after surgery. You will be monitored for any adverse reactions to surgery or anesthesia.
How Long Will It Take
About 1-½ to 2 hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will block pain during the procedure. In some cases, the doctor implants a ]]>pain pump]]> into the shoulder. This pump slowly delivers pain medicine. It may be used for the first couple of days. Afterwards, you will have medicine to help manage the pain.
Average Hospital Stay
If there are no complications, it may be possible to leave the hospital on the same day. Talk to your doctor to see if this is an option in your case.
Your shoulder will be sore for a few weeks. It can take 3-6 months to fully recover.
When you return home, you may be asked to do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
- Ice the swollen area for the first 24-48 hours. Do this for 20-30 minutes at a time.
- Sleep sitting up or in a recliner. Place a pillow behind your elbow.
- Change the dressing.
- Shower 2-3 days after surgery.
- Take pain medicine. If you have a pain pump, this will be removed in 1-2 days.
- Return to the doctor in 7-14 days to have your stitches removed.
- Resume your regular diet when you are ready. You may need to start with a ]]>clear liquid diet]]>.
- Use a sling if told to do so by your doctor. You may not need to use one, because it can cause stiffness.
- Work with a physical therapist at home to focus on range-of-motion exercises.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Signs of infections, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision sites
- Cough, trouble breathing, or chest pain
- Severe nausea or vomiting
- Pain becomes worse or swelling increases
- Tingling or numbness that will not go away, especially in arms and hands
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
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Last reviewed November 2009 by ]]>Robert Leach, MD]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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