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Hydrodilation, also known as shoulder distension arthrography, is available for the treatment of frozen shoulder.

What happens during the procedure?

You will be awake during treatment, with the treatment area numbed using an injection of local anaesthetic.

You will be asked to lie on a treatment table and a needle will be inserted into your shoulder joint. Low dose X-rays will be used to help your consultant radiologist guide the needle into the correct position.

When correct needle position has been confirmed, a combination of local anaesthetic, steroids, saline (salty water) and gas will be injected into the joint. This injection stretches and tears the thickened capsule to allow much improved shoulder movement.

After a few days the steroid will start to work on reducing inflammation reducing, or eliminating your shoulder pain.

What are the side effects?

  • Steroid can cause irritation following injection, creating the so-called ‘flare response’.
  • You may find your shoulder is more painful than it was for two or three days following treatment.
  • With any injection into a joint there is a risk of infection. This risk is greatly minimised however, as the injection is done under ‘sterile’ conditions.
  • Some of the steroid will travel around the body to other tissues and makes insulin work less well for this short period of time. Patients with diabetes must monitor their sugar levels for up to two weeks after the injection.

Hydrodilation consultants at Parkside Hospital

Parkside Hospital

53 Parkside, Wimbledon, London, SW19 5NX

020 8971 8000
Switchboard 020 8971 8000
Outpatient appointments 0208 137 8431
Self-pay patients 0208 137 8432
NHS England Patients team 0208 971 1261
Private GP service 0208 137 8431
Admissions – for patients booked for surgery 020 8971 8012
Account enquiries 020 8605 2895
Diagnostics 0208 137 8459
Physiotherapy 0208 137 8431
Pathology 020 8971 8022
Finance – to pay a bill or invoice enquiries (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) 020 8605 2895

Ways to pay

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