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[IP] Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) - "manipulation under anaesthesia"
I had the "manipulation under anaesthesia" procedure done on my right
shoulder about 5 years ago, and haven't had any trouble since.
It was pretty bad at the time, and it kept waking me up at night when I'd
roll onto my right side. They had me try 8 weeks of physical therapy first,
but it didn't help with the pain. I did get more freedom of motion, but the
adhesions were still there.
So I went to an orthopedic surgeon (who deals with a lot of sports
injuries), and he had them do an MRI on my shoulder to make sure there
wasn't anything else wrong in there. There wasn't, and he could see the
calcified adhesions on the scan. He explained that the 'manipulation'
procedure is noninvasive and is usually pretty successful, particularly if
you exercise the shoulder regularly afterwards. I told him that I have a
pretty high pain threshold, and why couldn't he just give me something to
bite on and do it while I'm awake (it only takes a few minutes to perform),
so that I wouldn't have to deal with the anaesthetic. He paused for a
second and said, "The pain is so intense that it wouldn't be good for your
heart." That sold me...
I had to keep my arm in a sling for a few days after the procedure, and then
was emphatically told to exercise my shoulder as much as possible and use it
a LOT. I did so for about 2 months, and have never had any trouble with my
Incidentally, the best exercise for your shoulder if it is showing signs of
adhesive capsulitis is to use a rope with a pulley suspended from the
ceiling. You wrap one end of the rope several times around both hands, then
let your 'bad' arm go limp, and then use the other arm to pull the bad arm
up over your head until it starts to hurt. Then do multiple repetitions.
You start out standing a little behind where the pulley attaches to the
ceiling, and then over time progress to where you can stand under, and then
in front of, the pulley attachment point. I installed a small pulley in an
overhead beam in my garage, so it also doubles as a bike lift... :-)
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