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Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder, or Adhesive Capsulitis, is a painful condition when the shoulder joint capsule becomes thick, stiff and inflamed. The pain and thickening also leads to limited movement of the shoulder joint.

The Facts

Frozen shoulder most commonly occurs in adults between 40 and 60 years old
affects woman more than men.

Between 10 and 20 percent of individuals with diabetes develop frozen shoulder.

It is common to develop frozen shoulder after a shoulder surgery or injury.

Symptoms from frozen shoulder can last from 1-3 years

Adhesive Capsulitis Embolization (ACE)

The inflammation that contributes to pain and capsule thickening is caused by abnormal increased blood flow. New vessels, or hypervascularity, travel to the joint capsule.

Adhesive Capsulitis Embolization (ACE) is a minimally invasive procedure that injects microspheres into the abnormal vessels, reducing the increased blood flow. This disrupts the pain-inflammation cycle. Restoring normal blood flow to the capsule has shown to reduce pain and restore motion to the shoulder.

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Procedure Details

The interventional Radiologist makes a small needle puncture into a blood vessel at the wrist and guides a microcatheter into the blood vessels that supply the inflamed part of shoulder. The procedure is performed under a ‘twilight sleep’ and is relatively painless.

Microscopic beads are injected into the areas with abnormal vessels to reduce the excess flow causing pain and inflammation. Normal blood flow to the shoulder and its surrounding tissues remains intact after the procedure.

Advantages of Adhesive Capsulitis Embolization (ACE)

  • No surgical incision, manipulation or injection into the shoulder joint
  • Painless procedure lasting about one hour
  • Typically return to work within a day or two without the need for a lengthy recovery
  • Very low complication rate without any effect on future shoulder treatments
  • Symptom improvement usually within 3-4 weeks

Call today to schedule a consultation with our interventional radiologist to learn more.

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