The Orthopedic Blog

What is Shoulder Manipulation

Posted on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 @ 09:02 AM

What is Shoulder Manipulation

Adhesive capsulitis, also known as frozen shoulder is a medical condition that causes limitation of motion and serious pain in a person’s shoulder joint. The true cause for this condition is unknown, but it is reported that certain individuals do have a higher probability of developing frozen shoulder. This condition causes the capsule adjoining the shoulder joint to contract and create scar tissue. One of the treatment methods includes shoulder manipulation.  shoulder manipulation

Shoulder Surgery for Frozen Shoulder

Normally, a surgeon will only offer shoulder manipulation surgery as a last resort treatment, particularly if any non-surgical treatment options do not resolve the condition. Shoulder manipulation is always performed under anesthesia and the surgeon will forcefully move the arm to disintegrate scar tissue that is caused by adhesive capsulitis. When manipulation is carried out, there are no incisions made.

As an alternative, or in combination with the manipulation, a surgeon may perform arthroscopic shoulder surgery to eradicate scar tissue physically. This method is known as the arthroscopic capsular release and is rarely necessary. However, it is tremendously useful in cases where frozen shoulder does not react to rehabilitation and therapy. If a surgeon offers manipulation surgery, the patient has to undergo rehabilitation right after the capsular release is performed. If the patient delays rehabilitation, there is a high chance that the frozen shoulder condition will return.

Recovery from Adhesive Capsulitis

Most individuals who suffer from frozen shoulder will normally have slight restrictions in their normal shoulder motions, even after years of resolving the condition. Nevertheless, these restrictions are minimal, and often only noticed when they perform a thorough physical examination. The majority of patients who incur a frozen shoulder will normally recover their full shoulder motion and function through a decent amount of stretching and therapy alone.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Below are non-surgical treatment options that are offered by qualified physicians before suggesting any type of shoulder manipulation surgery:

Exercises and stretching – Patients are advised to focus on improving their range of motion in the shoulder joint. The focus should be on stretching their shoulder capsule.

Heat/ice applications – Applications of heat and ice packs can help loosen the joint as well as offer relief of swelling and pain. An ice pack is normally used after stretching to decrease any pain and inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory medications – Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help with relieving pain and swelling. However, if the pain and swelling persist, it is advisable that the patient consult his physician immediately.

For more information about shoulder manipulation surgery and other non-surgical treatment options, please call us any time at 646-593-7305 or click below to receive a call from our representatives.   


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