When physical therapy, medications and other treatments are insufficient, surgery may be needed to stretch and release the stiffened joint capsule.
The main surgical procedures are:
1. Manipulation of the shoulder, while the patient is anesthetized, in which the doctor forces the shoulder to move in various directions, resulting in greater range of motion; and
2. Arthroscopy, in which tiny medical instruments inserted into the joint through small incisions are used to cut through tight parts of the capsule.
After surgery, patients typically receive physical therapy for six weeks to three months. This is key to recovering function and mobility. Following therapy, most patients report that their pain is either gone or diminished. They usually have improved range of motion, though some degree of permanent stiffness is common.
For more details please see: Adhesive capsulitis