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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Treating Frozen Shoulder: Medical TreatmentTratamiento m©dico del hombro doloroso

Treating Frozen Shoulder: Medical Treatment

If stretches alone aren't helping you enough, your doctor may suggest further medical treatment. But keep in mind that no treatment replaces shoulder stretches. You'll need to start your exercises again as advised by your doctor.

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Cortisone Injection

Cortisone is a steroid that helps reduce inflammation (swelling and irritation). Cortisone is injected directly into the joint. It won't cure frozen shoulder. But it may offer enough pain relief to help you do your shoulder stretches.

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Arthroscopic capsular release may free the capsule and ligaments (area shown above with dotted line).

Surgical Treatment

You may have surgical treatment if shoulder stretches alone don't relieve the pain and stiffness. You will be given anesthesia (medicine that prevents pain) before the procedure begins. In some cases, both of the procedures described below are done at the same time.

  • Manipulation. Your doctor slowly raises your arm until the capsule and ligaments are freed (released).

  • Capsular release. Your doctor frees the capsule and ligaments through an incision. This may be done if manipulation did not release the capsule. The surgery may be done arthroscopically (the doctor makes a few small incisions rather than a single larger one).

You may start doing shoulder stretches soon after manipulation and capsular release-perhaps even the same day. Your doctor will give you all the details.

Date Last Reviewed:

Date Last Modified: 2002-07-09T08:39:51-06:00

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