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Capsular release for frozen shoulder

What is capsular release for frozen shoulder?

Capsular release is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to treat frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis). This is a condition that develops when the capsule of connective tissues surrounding the shoulder thickens and tightens, causing pain and restricted movement.

Most frozen shoulders can be treated by physiotherapy but some, which don’t respond to physiotherapy or other treatments, may require surgery.

Capsular release is an arthroscopic (keyhole) procedure to cut the tight capsular tissues surrounding the shoulder joint, allowing the shoulder to move more freely.

What does capsular release involve?

Capsular release is performed using a minimally invasive surgical procedure under local or general anaesthetic. If you are having a local anaesthetic the area will be numbed and you will be given a sedative to help you relax. Three small incisions are made on the shoulder and an arthroscope and another instrument inserted. The arthroscope contains a camera that allows your surgeon to see inside your shoulder. Once the condition of the shoulder has been evaluated, the other instrument is used to cut tight capsular tissues surrounding the shoulder joint. Using radiofrequency waves the surgeon can also cauterise the tissue, minimising any bleeding. The incision sites are then closed with sutures. You will be given good pain relief and also follow-up physiotherapy to support your rehabilitation and help to restore full movement to your shoulder.

Capsular release

Shoulder and elbow consultants

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