The medical term for this condition is adhesive capulitis. It is a condition where the tissues around the shoulder joint tighten.
There is a gradual onset of pain around the shoulder, which gets progressively worse. It may prevent the sufferer from being able to sleep on the affected shoulder.
There is also restricted movement or stiffness at the shoulder that may become severe enough to interfere with daily activities of living such as washing and dressing.
The exact reason for the disease is unknown and many cases occur spontaneously. It may occur following an injury to the shoulder and patients who have diabetes or Dupuyten's disease are more susceptible to the disease.
If left untreated the condition may resolve eventually after a period of about two years. This is not a guarantee of return to pain free normal movement.
The treatment options include:
Arthroscopy is a form of keyhole surgery used to diagnose and treat problems of the shoulder joint. An arthroscope (which is an instrument for the examination of the inside of joints consisting of a steel tube arthroscope fibre optic system) is inserted into the cavity of the shoulder via a small incision. The arthroscope is attached to a video camera that allows the surgeon to ‘see’ inside the joint to find out more clearly what needs to be done.
The surgeon then inserts small instruments through a number of additional small incisions. Guided by the image on the TV monitor the shoulder joint is explored and any necessary procedures are carried out.
The operation will be done whilst you are under a general anaesthetic. Sometimes a regional interscalene (at base of the neck) nerve block anaesthetic is used as well, which puts your arm to sleep. This provides additional pain relief and reduces the amount of general anaesthetic required.
Reasons why it is done:
Arthroscopic shoulder problems treated arthroscopically may include:
As with any operation, there are risks associated with having general anaesthetic. However, arthroscopy is generally a safe, reliable operation.
Specific to this operation there is an overall complication rate of about 1%. The most common complications include:
Your surgeon will discuss the risks with you prior to surgery.
This depends on the underlying problem but keyhole allows rapid relief of pain and recovery of function because the incisions are small and no muscles or tendons are divided to gain access to the joint.
Depending on the problem, in a small proportion of cases there may be no improvement.
If you are a smoker, it would benefit you greatly to stop smoking before you have the operation. This will reduce the risk of chest troubles, as smoking makes your lungs sensitive to the anaesthetic. If you stop smoking it improves your chance of a good result. It will also improve wound healing.
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