Release of Frozen Shoulder

The surgery for frozen shoulder involves releasing the contractive capsule of the shoulder.  This is why you have a stiff shoulder and why you lose range of movement.

The surgery is done with an arthroscope (keyhole surgery).  You will have a very small puncture wound at the back of the shoulder and one at the front of the shoulder.  These will heal up very quickly.   The operation itself takes 15 minutes.  It is done under a General Anaesthetic

Post Op Pain Relief

You will have an injection of local anaesthetic around the nerves to the shoulder at the base of the neck

Post operatively

While the shoulder is still numb from the local anaesthetic injection, the Physiotherapists will see you and encourage you to move the shoulder.   You  must take regular pain killers even if the shoulder does not hurt as when the block wears off it can be sore.  

You will go home the day of surgery wearing a sling.  The sling is just for comfort and you will be encouraged to remove the sling after the first day or so.  You can move the shoulder fully as pain allows and as guided by the physiotherapist.  You will be reviewed at 3 week post surgery for a wound check and removal of stitches. Most people at that stage have already regained the vast majority of their range of movement.  However it can take up to 4 months to feel the full benefit of the surgery and usually at the 3 month mark most people on average are about 85% on the way to a functional shoulder.

The average return to work and driving is 2 - 2 ½ weeks, and often return to sports such as golf should be around 5-6 weeks following surgery. 

Patients are reviewed 3 weeks following surgery. Then a further appointment is booked 3 months following release of frozen shoulder.  


Usually 3 months following surgery the majority of patients report an 85% return to functional activity.   It can take 6-9 months to feel the full benefit.


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