What is shoulder hydrodilatation?


Shoulder hydrodilatation refers to the injection of fluid into the shoulder joint under ultrasound guidance to relieve pain and improve shoulder range of motion. The procedure is indicated to treat cases of frozen shoulder, a painful condition characterized by stiffness and limited range of motion of the affected shoulder joint.

How do I prepare for the procedure?

No preparation is required.

How is hydrodilatation performed?

A local anaesthetic is first injected into the skin of the shoulder. A fine needle is then inserted into the shoulder using image guidance to ensure that the needle enters the joint space. A small amount of steroid, long-acting local anaesthetic, and contrast medium is then injected to cause expansion of the joint capsule and breakdown of adhesions (scar tissue). You may experience temporary pressure, tightness, or heaviness in the shoulder or arm at the end of the procedure.

What precautions will I have to take following the procedure?

Please arrange for someone to drive you back home after the procedure. You must not lift heavy objects for a limited amount of time. Your doctor will advise you on post-procedural exercise.

Are there any associated risks?

The procedure is very safe, although there may be a few side effects. A mild allergy in the form of a skin rash may develop which usually resolves in a day or two. There may also be a slight risk of infection at the injection site, however, this is quite rare. If your shoulder becomes red or hot and you experience any chills, fever, or sweating, please contact your doctor.

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