Hydrodilatation injection for frozen shoulder
Hydrodilatation is a treatment recommended for joints that are painful and stiff due to the formation of scar tissue. It is usually performed as treatment for a frozen shoulder.
Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterised by pain and loss of motion in the shoulder joint. It is caused by inflammation of the capsule of the shoulder joint. The shoulder capsule becomes inflammed, thickened, tight, and stiff bands of tissue called adhesions develop.
What is involved?
Hydrodilatation involves stretching the capsule of the joint by injecting a mixture of sterile saline, local anaesthetic and steroid. This opens up the joint and releases the adhesions within the joint.
You will be asked to lie on your back with your arm extended out to the side. The skin will be cleaned and local anaesthetic will be given to numb the area. A fine needle will be introduced onto the surface of the shoulder joint under ultrasound guidance. Saline, steroid and further local anaesthetic will then be given. The entire procedure takes approximately 15 minutes.
What to expect?
You may experience some discomfort during and after the procedure which usually lasts no more than half an hour. We advise not to drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 6 hours post proceedure. Some patients have immediate relief from pain with improved range of motion, but it usually takes up to 6 weeks for the treatment to take full effect.
Does it work?
Hydrodilatation is generally a safe procedurebut carries a small risk of infection, bleeding and failure to relieve symptoms. Nationally, there is a reported success rate of over 70% in improving shoulder movement and over 90% sucess rate in improving pain. Many people feel immediate relief, but for some it can take a couple of weeks to achieve full benefit.
How will I be followed up?
You will see a physiotherapist approxinately 7-10 days post proceedure. They will assess your range of movement and provide advice and exercises program maximise the benefit of the proceedure. You can contact our physiotherapy team on 02920 762000