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Is it normal to have painful stiff shoulders post sub cromial decompression operation?

Jul 2013
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
Hi I had a sub-cromial decompression op last November. My shoulder always seemed stiff and painful after the op which got worse. I tried to explain to my physio over the last 6 weeks of the stiffness and pain and lack of mobility yet he said it was all part of the healing process and I should not rush my exercises but take things slowly and my shoulder mobility will return in its own good time. He said if the pain was too much when exercising then to stop them. I have now just returned to my surgeon who performed the SCD who said that I now have a 'frozen shoulder' and need to come back in to be manipulated under anaesthetic. He was furious at the lack of physio and lack of good physio advice I had received from the NHS. Pre last op I was fit with only mild discomfort with the shoulder impingement yet now I have constant shoulder pain and struggle to sleep. My surgeon diagnosed my 'frozen shoulder' without examining me but simply from the anwers I gave him regarding lack of mobility and stiffness. My questions are firstly, should I be having this op 9 weeks post the last one without having an MRI first to see what is going on in my shoulder. Secondly, this op sounds far more serious than the last and how can I be certain the new op will resolve the 'frozen shoulder' bearing in mind the only reason I am having this is due to the lack of care I have had with NHS physio. Lastly, as it is only 9 weeks since the impingement op, is it more or less likely that I will make a full recovery by having this MUA op.
Posted Wed, 5 Feb 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Please find your answers below. Detailed Answer: Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX Please find below the explanations for all your 3 queries - - MRI scan is not essential to diagnose Frozen shoulder as in most cases clinical examination is sufficient for its diagnosis. However, MRI scan will pick up any further soft tissue lesions/problems in the shoulder joint that might be contributing to your symptoms. So, it is worth undergoing MRI scan. - This is for your information that "Manipulation under anesthesia" for the Frozen shoulder is not a surgical procedure (as no surgical incision will be made on the skin). This procedure involves gentle manipulation (moving the shoulder joint through a range of motion) so as to release the adhesions within the joint and outside the joint resulting in improved range of movement and lessening the stiffness in the joint. So, this is definitely not a serious procedure than your previous surgery (sub acromial decompression). - There is a good chance that you may recover an improvement in your range of motion as well as decreased stiffness after Manipulative procedure. However, there is no guarantee that this procedure always yields good results. Consult your treating surgeon and discuss the issues. Hope I have addressed your issues. I welcome any more clarification Regards
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