Frozen Shoulder Manipulation

Frozen shoulder

I first noticed a problem with my left shoulder during a house move in June 2007. There was also a shooting pain when I made certain movements with my left arm. Eventually I was unable to drive and it made my day to day life very difficult. I went to my chiropractor but it failed to improve and she suggested I visit my GP. When I saw my GP in August 2007 he gave me an injection into the shoulder area. There was no improvement and I was referred to the shoulder clinic at Capio. I saw Mr. Levy in September and after an xray, ultrasound and examination he diagnosed a frozen shoulder. He informed me that it could take a year or longer to improve naturally and that the alternative was an arthroscopic manipulation under anaesthetic. This would free the shoulder and with exercise I would regain flexibility and strength. As well as an anaesthetic they would use a nerve block. I decided to go ahead with the operation as I wanted to be able to drive and carry on with my normal life as soon as possible. Also I felt that the muscle tone in my arm had deteriorated with lack of use. I had started to hold my arm in a protective position to prevent the pain and this resulted in me feeling that my balance was affected when walking.

The day before the operation I attended the Capio hospital for pre operation tests. These included a blood test, E.C.G, urine sample and blood pressure reading. On the 10thOctober I arrived at Capio at 7 am with several other bleary eyed patients. I was taken to my room and settled in by the kind and efficient staff. The anaesthetist and surgeon explained the procedure and I was taken to theatre at about 1 oclock. The next thing I remember is waking up and the procedure was over. If a nerve block is used it leaves your arm feeling numb which is a strange sensation but not painful. The numbness wore off within 24 hours. A physiotherapist visited me and gave me a sheet of exercises to start immediately. He emphasised the necessity of following these exercises in order to ensure the procedure was successful. After a light meal Mr. Levy came to see me and my husband was able to take me home.

The next day I had my first session with a physiotherapist. She took me through the exercises and did some massage on my shoulder. It is important to keep taking the painkillers prescribed for these sessions. I had about five sessions with the physiotherapist as well as doing the exercises at home. I was advised to continue the exercises for at least six weeks and I cannot emphasise strongly enough how important they are to the success of the operation.

I had two appointments with Mr. Levy after the operation one after three weeks and then after three months. I am delighted with the results and am driving again and there is full flexibility in my shoulder and my arm is getting stronger.

Janet Dow

Case1 - Mrs JD

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