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Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capulitis, is a condition where the tissues around the shoulder joint tighten. There is a gradual onset of pain around the shoulder, which gets progressively worse. It may prevent the sufferer from being able to sleep on the affected shoulder.

What are the symptoms of a frozen shoulder?

There is a gradual onset of pain around the shoulder, which gets progressively worse. It may prevent the sufferer from being able to sleep on the affected shoulder.

There is also restricted movement or stiffness at the shoulder that may become severe enough to interfere with daily activities of living such as washing and dressing.

How does it occur?

  • The exact reason for the disease is unknown and many cases occur spontaneously.
  • It may occur following an injury to the shoulder.
  • Patients who have diabetes or dupuyten’s disease are more susceptible to the disease.

What is the treatment for a frozen shoulder?

If left untreated the condition may resolve eventually after a period of about two years. This is not a guarantee of return to pain free normal movement.

The treatment options include:

  • Physiotherapy to reduce pain and stiffness
  • Injections in the shoulder joint
  • Manipulation under anaesthesia. In the situation regional anaesthesia is used to prevent pain whilst the arm is moved to the limits of the normal range of motion. By doing this, the capsule around the shoulder joint is torn thereby allowing the shoulder to move more freely.
  • Surgical release. This may be done either as a keyhole or arthroscopic procedure where the tightened tissues are cut, again allowing the shoulder to move more freely.
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Private Orthopaedic Clinic

The Orthopaedic Unit at St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is one of the country’s leading private orthopaedic centres. We provide a complete service for the assessment, treatment and management of orthopaedic and musculoskeletal problems.

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Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, our private GP practice and Urgent Care Clinic, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 0207 078 3891.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

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