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
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This procedure is done to:
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:
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:
Prior shoulder surgery may also increase your risk of complications.
Your doctor may do the following:
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
Leading up to the procedure:
General anesthesia is often used for this surgery. You will be asleep.
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 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 and then removed. Afterwards, you will have medicine to help manage the pain.
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:
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Adhesive capsulitis. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030315/1323ph.html. Accessed December 14, 2011.
Adhesive capsulitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 2008. Accessed December 3, 2008.
Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). Palo Alto Medical Foundation website. Available at: http://www.pamf.org/sports/king/adhesive_caps.html. Accessed December 3, 2008.
Adhesive capsulitis: physical therapy. EBSCO Publishing Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/pointOfCare/nrc-about. Updated June 2007. Accessed November 18, 2008.
Examination under anesthesia. University of Washington Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.orthop.washington.edu/uw/examination/tabID__3376/ItemID__207/PageID__425/Articles/Default.aspx. Accessed November 21, 2008.
Frozen Shoulder. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00071. Accessed December 14, 2011.
Outpatient surgery. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/florida/weston/hospital/outpatient_surgery.aspx. Accessed November 21, 2008.
Patient information guide: frozen shoulder syndrome. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthodoc.aaos.org/mobyparsons/Pat%20Guide%20Frozen %20 Shoulder.doc. Accessed December 4, 2008.
Shoulder Arthroscopy. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00589. Accessed December 14, 2011.
Warner JP. Frozen shoulder: diagnosis and management. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 1997;5:130-140.
Your shoulder surgery. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00066. Updated August 2009. Accessed December 14, 2011.
Last reviewed December 2012 by John C. Keel, 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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