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Can manipulation under anesthesia help in case of a sore shoulder?

Dr. Anita Gupta
Anesthesiology

In case of a frozen shoulder, manipulation under anesthesia may be helpful to free up the stiff shoulder. This procedure anesthetizes the patient to both block pain and provide muscle relaxation. The shoulder is then forcefully stretched in multiple directions. This process usually tears the contracted shoulder capsule and any adhesions that have formed between the joint surface and muscle layers. Following manipulation, a steroid is injected into the shoulder joint to hinder post-operative scar formation as well as aid pain relief. In some instances, if the scar tissue in the shoulder is too thick, manipulation under anesthesia may not restore full shoulder motion. In these cases, surgery is required to cut and remove portions of the shoulder capsule too contracted to respond to manipulation.

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