The UK is leading the way when it comes to frozen shoulder treatment, says Simon Moyes, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at London Bridge Hospital and The Wellington Hospital.
Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, affects one in 20 people, usually between the ages of 40-60 years old, with those with diabetes, lung and heart disease, and sports injuries at a higher risk. Arising when the connective tissue around the glenohumeral joint of the shoulder becomes inflamed, it results in severe pain and restricted movement of the shoulder.
Not yet widely available in the US, hydrostatic distension is an injection aimed at relieving the symptoms of frozen shoulder through the administration of two injections a fortnight apart. On each occasion, a mixture of local anaesthetic, steroid and saline is injected into the glenohumeral joint with the appropriate volume. Following the injections, patients should see immediate improvement in both pain and range.
Simon Moyes, who was one of the first to introduce the treatment to the UK comments: “Frozen shoulder is one condition I’ve seen many times in my clinic – a debilitating condition estimated to affect up to one in 20 people.
“I have seen a 15% increase in patients from all over the world coming to London for this treatment, and it’s not surprising – the treatment is quick, the effect is long-term and it reduces the need for surgery.
“With previous treatments available, it usually takes between 18 and 24 months to recover. Daily tasks such as lifting a kettle can become difficult, and certain movements or bumps can cause sudden and intense pain.”
Previous treatments have been limited to ice or heat pain relief, anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy and surgery. Hydrostatic distension technique provides a simple method that brings quick and lasting relief, saving months of painkillers. Mr Simon Moyes along with his colleague Dr Syed Babar were one of the first to embrace the treatment in the UK having witnessed significant benefits in patients – these include:
• 80% of patients are pain-free after a month
• Relief is felt almost instantaneously after the first injection
• It’s quick (10 minutes) and a straightforward procedure
• There’s only minor discomfort during injections
• It’s cost effective (fewer physio sessions to attend)
• Patients avoid invasive surgery.