Hydrodilatation

Hydrodilatation is a treatment that Mr Lyons may recommend to help the recovery of a Frozen Shoulder. The medical name for this condition is Adhesive Capsulitis.

What is a Frozen Shoulder?

A Frozen Shoulder is a poorly understood condition. It is an inflammation of the soft tissue capsule around the shoulder. Although it may arise after a seemingly minor incident it more often comes on gradually with no obvious cause. Diabetics or patients with thyroid disorders seem to be especially prone to the condition. The symptoms usually worsen slowly over time. The diagnosis may not be clear in its early stages. It is characterised by:

  • Shoulder and upper arm aching
  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Severe pain with overstretching movements of the shoulder
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Frustration about an uncertain diagnosis
  • Slow recovery over 12 to 18 months or more

What is Hydrodilatation?

Hydrodilatation is one of a range of treatment option to assist the recovery of a Frozen shoulder.

Mr Lyons finds it helpful for patients who are experiencing severe pain and sleep disturbance. Less painful shoulders may be suited for other treatments.

Hydrodilatation involves the Radiologist making an injection in to the shoulder joint using the guidance of an X-ray machine which provides a live image of your shoulder. They inject a combination of Local Anaesthetic and Cortisone. The Local Anaesthetic helps to relieve any immediate pain. The Cortisone helps to reduce the inflammation of the shoulder joint capsule.

Saline fluid is then injected under gentle pressure in order to stretch the shoulder joint capsule.

The procedure may be moderately painful. If this treatment is required Mr Lyons recommends that you have a friend or family member drive you home. You may require the day of treatment away from work. Mr Lyons can provide a certificate if necessary. You may notice a temporary aggravation of your shoulder pain after the injection. Any improvement of your shoulder pain and stiffness may not be apparent for a few days or perhaps even a week or so as the Cortisone has its effect.

Our staff can arrange for the Radiology Department to perform this treatment. Mr Lyons usually reviews the response to the Hydrodilatation at a consultation about 4 weeks after the procedure.