Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) is a tightening of the tissue around the shoulder joint. It makes it hard to move the shoulder. This surgery improves range of motion by removing scar tissue.
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This procedure is done to:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:
General anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep.
Three small incisions will be made in the 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 cut and remove scar tissue. The arthroscope will be removed. The incisions will be closed with stitches. A bandage will be placed over the area.
About 2 hours
Pain and swelling are common in the first few weeks. Medicine and home care can help.
Most people leave the same day. If you have any problems, you may need to stay longer.
Right after the procedure, the staff may:
Physical therapy will be started soon after surgery.
During your stay, staff will take steps to lower your chance of infection, such as:
You can also lower your chance of infection by:
It may take 6 months to 2 years to fully recover. Physical activity will be limited during recovery. You may need to ask for help with daily activities and delay return to work.
Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
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
Adhesive capsulitis of shoulder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/adhesive-capsulitis-of-shoulder. Accessed September 29, 2020.
Frozen shoulder. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00071. Accessed September 29, 2020.
Le HV, Lee SJ, et al. Adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder: review of pathophysiology and current clinical treatments. Shoulder Elbow. 2017 Apr;9(2):75-84.
Shoulder arthroscopy. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00589. Accessed September 29, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM Last Updated: 6/8/2021