Shoulder Hydrodilatation – Ultrasound

Hydrodilatation for Frozen Shoulder

Hydrodilatation is an excellent technique to treat a frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis). Combined with a good physiotherapy regimen, it can have a success rate of up to 90% in improving symptoms.

Our radiologists have extensive experience in doing this procedure which can be done using x-ray or ultrasound.

We would require a referral from a health professional to carry out this procedure.



About Shoulder Hydrodilatation

Ultrasound guided shoulder hydrodilatation is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder. This condition affects the shoulder joint, causing pain and stiffness, and limits the range of motion. This article provides a patient with information on the procedure, including the indications, risks, benefits, what to expect during the scan, and aftercare.

Indications: The procedure is typically recommended when other treatments for frozen shoulder, such as physiotherapy and steroid injections, have failed to provide relief. The procedure involves injecting a mixture of saline solution, local anaesthetic, and corticosteroid into the shoulder joint. The fluid dilates the capsule, which is the connective tissue that surrounds the joint, and reduces inflammation, leading to increased mobility and reduced pain.

Risks: The risks associated with the procedure are low, and complications are rare. However, as with any medical procedure, there are some risks involved. The most common risks include bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to the medication used during the procedure. These complications are rare and can usually be treated quickly.

Benefits: The main benefit of ultrasound guided shoulder hydrodilatation is that it is a minimally invasive procedure that is safe, effective and can provide significant pain relief. The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia, and patients can return to their daily activities the same day or the next day. The procedure is also less invasive than surgery, which has a more extended recovery time.

During the scan: The patient lies down on an examination table, and the shoulder is exposed. The area is then cleaned with an antiseptic solution to reduce the risk of infection. The consultant performing the procedure will then use ultrasound to guide a needle into the joint capsule. The needle is then used to inject the solution into the joint space. Patients may experience mild discomfort during the injection. The entire procedure takes approximately 20-30 minutes.

After care: After the procedure, the patient may experience some discomfort in the shoulder for a few days. Patients can take over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, to manage any discomfort. It is essential to avoid strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting, for at least 48 hours after the procedure. Patients may also need to perform some exercises to maintain mobility and improve strength in the affected shoulder. The consultant performing the procedure will provide specific instructions on how to care for the shoulder after the procedure.

Conclusion: Ultrasound guided shoulder hydrodilatation is a safe and effective procedure used to treat frozen shoulder. The procedure is minimally invasive and can provide significant pain relief, allowing patients to return to their daily activities soon after the procedure. While complications are rare, patients should be aware of the potential risks and discuss any concerns with their consultant. Patients should also follow the post-procedure instructions provided by their consultant to ensure a smooth recovery.



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