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
This procedure is done to:
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Factors that may increase your risk of complications:
Your doctor may do the following:
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
Leading up to the procedure:
General anesthesia will most likely be used. You will be asleep during 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.
You will be taken to a recovery room after surgery. You will be monitored for any adverse reactions to surgery or anesthesia.
About 1-½ to 2 hours
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
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.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection such as:
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:
It is important to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Ortho Info— American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Sports Med—American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
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Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). Palo Alto Medical Foundation website. Available at: http://www.pamf.org/sports/king/adhesive_caps.html. Accessed November 10, 2017.
Ewald A. Adhesive capsulitis: A review. Am Fam Physician. 2011;83(4):417-422.
Examination under anesthesia. University of Washington Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.orthop.washington.edu/?q=patient-care/articles/shoulder/examination-under-anesthesia.html. Updated February 4, 2013. Accessed November 10, 2017.
Frozen shoulder. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00071. Updated January 2011. Accessed November 10, 2017.
Shoulder arthroscopy. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00589. April 2011. Accessed November 10, 2017.
Warner JP. Frozen shoulder: Diagnosis and management. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 1997;5:130-140.
Shoulder surgery. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00066. Updated August 2009. Accessed November 10, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM Last Updated: 12/20/2014