The initial aim of treatment for frozen shoulders is to reduce pain and inflammation as well as increase the range of motion of the shoulder. The course of treatment normally includes medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs. An injection of steroids to reduce the inflammation can sometimes be performed. Physical therapy is most useful in restoring full range of motion to the shoulder.
If the frozen shoulder does not respond to non-surgical treatment, then surgery to release or stretch the scar tissue is an option. The most common methods include manipulation under anaesthesia and shoulder arthroscopy:
Manipulation, under anaesthesia, allows the surgeon to move the arm to break up the adhesions. No incisions are made.
In shoulder arthroscopy, a small camera and instruments are inserted through the small incisions made around the shoulder to cut through the tight portions of the joint capsule. Physiotherapy must follow the surgery to minimise the chance of the frozen shoulder returning.
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