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maria58274 maria58274

Hydrodilatation - my experience

I've decided to start another thread on here to document my experiences with Hyrodilatation (also spelled Hydrodilation or known as Arthrographic Distension) and how well it works for me over the next few weeks or so.

A brief background, in case anyone didn't read my original thread.  I started with odd pains in my shoulder in spring, this year, with no apparant cause and I assumed I'd just pulled a muscle or something like that and hoped it would go away on it's own.  It got worse over the summer and I also started to lose movement. I had the usual excrutiating pain on knocks or jerks and aches right down my arm.  Pain, lack of sleep and loss of movement finally drove me to the GP in September where I was diagnosed with a frozen shoulder.  I managed to seek physiotherapy with Bupa (or I'd still be on the NHS waiting list) and was recommended by a physio to see a consultant with a view to Hydrodilatation.

I had my Hydrodilatation this afternoon - 14th December.  A few hours on and I'm feeling fine.  I was very nervous but the procedure itself went well and took 15-20 minutes in total.  I'd worn a vest top, which meant I didn't need to wear a gown and just dropped my straps off my bad shoulder.  I was asked to lie on my front, with a pillow for support.  I'd thought the procedure was done via x-ray guidance but it was in fact ultrasound guided.  The doctor explained what was about to happen and did an initial scan of my shoulder area before giving me a local anaesthetic.  He then put in the needle for the hydrodilatation, which administered first some cortisone and then saline.  He said I might feel some pushing and to let him know if it became painful.  There was some discomfort but I wouldn't describe it as painful and within a few minutes, he said the saline had started to leak out of the joint and the procedure was over.  He did another scan and checked my movement before and after - there was perhaps a couple of degrees improvement but nothing drastic.  I left the hospital with a plaster on my shoulder and feeling fine.  He said I might experience a bit of aching once the local anaesthetic wears off but the cortisone should kick in within a day or two and should improve things pain-wise.

Physiotherapy is recommended within a few days of the procedure and I have an appointment with the physio on Friday morning and another to see the consultant again in about 6 weeks.  So far, so good but it remains to be seen how sucessful it has been in improving pain and getting my movement back.  I can currently lift my arm about 90 degrees in front, slightly less at the side and very little behind my back.

I will document my progress over the next few days and weeks, for anyone else considering this treatment.  Hope this information is of help to someone and fingers crossed that the procedure works for me!

167 Replies

  • Lambchop2 Lambchop2 maria58274

    I don't know if you are talking about cortizone injections but plenty of us have had them and they do work great temporarily but eventually the pain comes back and surgery is necessary.  

    • maria58274 maria58274 Lambchop2

      Hydrodilatation is where a mixture of saline and cortisone is injected directly into the joint, under a certain amount of pressure and guided by ultrasound or x-ray to get into the right part of the joint.  Enough liquid is injected in to expand the joint in an attempt to disrupt the adhesions.  The cortisone is added to help but isn't actually an essential part of the process.  Quote from an explanation of the procedure:

      "The injected fluid can be seen to expand the joint and sometimes flow out of the joint in a particular direction. Distension of the glenohumeral joint with fluid is thought to disrupt adhesions (scar tissue), thereby opening or freeing up the joint allowing improved range of movement."

  • Lambchop2 Lambchop2 maria58274

    Sounds interesting but I can't see how saine can do the same job as a scalpel but good luck!! And keep us posted. It could work with a mild case of adhesions but if you have any other conditions that are contributing factors in the frozen shoulder such as rotator cuff tear and/or bone spur, the frozen shoulder would just come back. Let us know if your relief continues.

    • maria58274 maria58274 Lambchop2

      As far as I've been told, I have no underlying conditions.  My frozen shoulder started with no apparant reason and wasn't a secondary one, after an injury.  There is a certain amount of disagreement between some consultants as to how effective hydrodilatation is - as there is about most of the ways of treating frozen shoulders.  My consultant (a well qualified, shoulder specialist) claims very good results for it at his clinic with 90% getting improvement in pain relief and 70% in movement.  I'm happy to take his advice and hope I'll be up there in his successes.  Will report back on here, either way.

    • moira61832 moira61832 maria58274


      I have just been diagnosed with FS and am on the waiting list for hydrodilitation . I am in so much pain, getting showered and dressed in the morning leaves me exhausted. It is good to read about how others have got on with the treatment. I am hoping to get my life back

    • elaine93514 elaine93514 moira61832

      I totally sympathise with you. This is my 2nd FS. My left shoulder was affected 3 yrs ago due to stretching awkwardly. This time its my right shoulder brought on by breaking my wrist.

      I am due to have hydrodilitation May 15th. I know whats ahead of me as I had it done 3 yrs ago so anything that helps get rid of this debillitating misery is a blessing.

      The pain, the stiffness, the lack of movement to do simple things like doing your hair, your bra etc is beyond belief.

      It will get a bit easier pain wise.

      I will keep you informed as to how my procedure goes.....are you on the NHS waiting list? Its chronic how much pain you have to put up with before they treat you but going private was out of my reach.

      Good luck & keep the arm moving as much as you can....I know the pain!!

    • jackie98217 jackie98217 elaine93514

      Hi, I have recently been diagnosed with FS, I had a cortisone injection 4 days ago with no effect, I have now been referred to an orthopedic consultant for review but I have been advised to research hydrodilitation, I was just wondering how successful it has been for you? And how long did it take for the movement to return, Its my right shoulder and I have had very minimal movement with excruciating pain in movement for over 5 months, really need a solution 

    • lyn123xmas lyn123xmas elaine93514

      Hi jackie

      I had hydrodialtion and within 3 weeks i have movement back except putting bra on but i excersized every 20 mins for 2 weeks

      But pain is still there

      Ive had fs since feb now waiting on steroid injection

      Hydrodilatation was very painful x

    • jackie98217 jackie98217 lyn123xmas

      Hi Lynne, 

      I'm sorry to hear the hydroditliation has not been completely successful for you, on a positive note, the pain has greatly reduced for me following the cortisone injection but the restriction on movement has not changed at all, hopefully when you have the injection you may be able to get back to normal, it is such a debilitating thing to have isn't it, I hope you get your injection soon x

  • pollmadoll64 pollmadoll64 maria58274

    Can I ask you where you had it done?

    • maria58274 maria58274 pollmadoll64

      If you search for shoulder doctor in Wilmslow, you'll find my consultant and the private hospital I went to.  He also practices at another private hospital in Cheadle (Cheshire) and does some NHS work at Wrightington.  I know from your other posts, this isn't really local to you but it might be worth travelling, if you can't find somewhere local.

  • maria58274 maria58274

    It's now Friday and I had my physio session this morning, so thought I'd report back.  No miracle cures at the moment - but at least I'm pretty much without pain, which is progress to me!  I believe some people experience the capsule releasing immediately during the procedure as the saline expands the joint - but mine leaked before this stage.  At the very least, I've had a guided cortisone injection into exactly the right spot.  I was told that for some people it can take a couple of weeks for things to improve, so will see if my stiffness progresses in that time.

    As expected, I had some aching when the local anaesthetic wore off but nothing too drastic, just a mild ache.  This has gradually worn off over the last couple of days.  There is now just an odd slight twinge on certain movements and if I try to push too far beyond my range but it doesn't hurt at all at rest and I can even lie on that side - for a short time at least.

    The physio seems to think I have gained a bit more movement since my last visit.  I told him that from my perspective, lack of pain was most important and I was happy to regain my movement slowly. He checked me out and did a bit of minor manipulation but basically said it's up to me now.  He's happy for me to carry on with the excercises at home and only need to go back to him if I have problems. He also worked some magic on my back which I think I pulled by doing everything so awkwardly!   I have a follow-up appointment with the consultant at the end of January, so will see how it is by then.

    Will report back if anything changes - in the meantime, I hope all of you have a peaceful Christmas and a pain-free new year!

  • claire50742 claire50742 maria58274

    Hi from Australia,

    I have been suffering for 6 mnths with this. Wow, I thought I was going to go mad. In dsigust at my GP telling me that I was letting it get to me, (no soid sleep for 6 mths nd not missing a day of work might I add) I changed GPs. I went to see a new one on Monday who ordered a CT scan of my neck. I have had an MRI of my shoulder and it showed a spur, bursitis, a small tear in my shoulder and frozen shoulder. He thinks that the intense pain is due to something going on in the neck. He has also recommended the treatment that you are discussing. Likewise, I feel I am desperate enough for nything right now. It will be the first CHristmas that I simply am to tired to bother with although with 2 small grandchildren I shall make an effort.

    How can something like this affect so much of your life? How can they look at you with an expression that almost says "another middle aged hormonal woman moaning about a sore shoulder"

    Perhaps I am simply over sensitive!

    Anyway - this wonderful new GP prescribed me Tramadol - one at night. I took it reluctantly last night and whoo hoo I had 3 hours of continuous sleep! Small steps forward finally!

    Wishing you well. Keep us posted!

    • maria58274 maria58274 claire50742

      Hi Claire, sorry to hear you are in so much pain.  Unfortunately, apart from the lack of movement, we don't look ill with a frozen shoulder.  It's no excuse for the behaviour of some GPs.  As for hormonal - I am convinced there is a link between a drop in hormones and the onset of frozen shoulders in women - there are too many anecdotal cases - it's surely worth some research.  

      My treatrment hasn't miraculously improved my shoulder movement (it does for some) - though I do think it's a bit better.  I suspect for me that slow and steady progress is more likely.  It has however left me largely pain-free, which for me is my main priority.

      Hope you get treatment that gives you some pain relief soon - we all know how painful it is and how desperate it makes you feel.  I'll also be spending my Christmas Day with 2 grandchildren (aged 3 and 10) so know how much that means to you.  Hope they help keep your mind off the shoulder, at least for a while.  Best wishes for a peaceful Christmas and hope you start to feel much better soon.  Take heart in knowing it WILL get better!

    • Lambchop2 Lambchop2 claire50742

      Well I am glad the pill gave you some relief but aren't they going to do something to treat your condition like surgery??  I had one surgery here in the States that fixed my tear and frozen shoulder and am fine now 9 weeks out.  What use is a pill that relieves pain for 3 hours but does not solve the problem???

    • claire50742 claire50742 Lambchop2

      Hi Maria and Lambchop2

      Yes I had a great Christmas day with both little ones taking my mind off the pain for a while. I intend to get something done. I am a teacher and need to work. I feel I have 6 weeks to make a start on some treatment. The thing is, it is aslow process here and although I am willing to pay to go private, the waiting lists are extraordinary, nothing seems to be a priority either....

      Like you Maria, I am certain the drop in hormones is linked to it. In my opinion, there is not enough research being made into this condition, whic, while not urgent or life threatening, is most debilitating.


  • maria58274 maria58274

    I hope everyone managed to have a good Christmas, despite their shoulders!  I just wanted to let you know of something that would seem very minor to most - but felt like a big step forward to me.  

    I have long hair and in recent years, have taken to wearing it up, twisted round and held in place by one of those hinged claw clips.  My freezing shoulder made this increasingly difficult and I remember the exact day in September when, however hard I tried, I could no longer do this.  I remember crying with sheer frustration.

    Over Christmas I noticed that it was getting a little easier to wash my hair with 2 hands.  I decided at first to try to plait my hair at the back - again, something I haven't been able to do for some time.  With a little difficulty I managed it.  Then I tried the clip - again, not exactly easy but I got it in place and felt elated.  OK, to most this seems very trivial - but to me it's a small victory and gives me hope for better things in the New Year.  At last, there looks to be some light at the end of this dark frozen tunnel.

    Good luck to all of you and lets hope the New Year brings us all some relief from this awful condition!

    • pollmadoll64 pollmadoll64 maria58274

      I know what you mean. I had shoulder surgery three months ago and am just beginning to feel the benefits. Having a shower and washing my hair ten days post surgery after having the stitches out. Being able to brush my teeth, the my hair back at last to drive a short distance. Mean souh to me too as I am single mother living in a remote Wiltshire village. The most challenging for me has been having to stay at home feeling very disconnected and totally relying on other people. I have always been highly independent

  • claire50742 claire50742 maria58274

    Such good news to read this, after almost seven months of struggling I see mynew GP tomorrow.  (I changed as the previous GP told me I was letting it get to me as it was only a frozen shoulder) I am over not being able to put my bra on, comb my hair properly, hang out the washing properly, air the bed by fluffing up the king size duvet, reach up to get something off the top shelf etc. The list is endless. Most of all I am seriously over not being able to sleep without pain. The stronger pain killers no longer work and I am up pacing the boards most nights.

    I feel guilty moaning about it, I am sick of listening to myself. My nextdoor neighbour has terminal cancer, how could I even think of moaning about my shoulder, alas I do though..................

    As my husband reminds me, with a serious disease, injury, broken limb etc. people recognise it and are prescribed painkillers. With a FS, I have had to fight for an xray, analgesics, ultrasound and 2 MRIs. 

    Ridiculous really! 

  • maria58274 maria58274

    I thought I'd add an update to this. as the subject has come up on other threads and Friday was the date for my follow-up consultation.  It's almost 7 weeks now since I had my hydrodilatation.  I'm still pain free and life is pretty much back to normal for me.  I am without pain and can sleep without being propped up on cushions,, though it still feels a little uncomfortable to sleep on my frozen side.  I'm doing my excercises, as and when I think about them - gentle stretching and strengthening excecise (done at home).  At the extemeties of my stretch, I feel some discomfort (that's where I stop) but have no residual aching afterwards.

    Slowly but surely, my movements are improving.  Putting up my hair gets easier every day and a couple of weeks ago I realised I could fasten my bra, without sliding it round the front.  It's still a little awkward but getting easier all the time - such little things can feel like a major achievement!  I've found the best way of excercising for movements behind your back is in the shower - sliding the bad arm up with the help of the other one when soapy makes it much easier.  I can't get my arm right up yet but it isn't causing me any major issues, so as long as I'm without pain, I'm happy continue exercising and getting the movement back slowly.

    I'm still unsure whether my other shoulder is starting to freeze.  Some days I have a slight ache and tight feeling at the top of that arm and into my shoulder - but other days it is OK.  I'm hoping it will be OK but if not, will seek help a lot earlier than I did with my right shoulder.

    My consultant was happy with my progress and said the movement should continue to improve in time.  He said to go directly back to him, should I have any further issues or pain or if my other shoulder does freeze.  I'd have no hesitation going for an earlier hydrodilatation, should that happen.  I'll report back, if there are any dramatic changes - either good or bad.

    Good luck to all of you going through this awful condition and I hope you too can find some releif!

  • tina61247 tina61247 maria58274

    Just wondering what makes people choose hydro dilation over anthroscopic keyhole surgery. My whole arm aches forearm fingers feel like I can't cope with life anymore, plus have a rotator cuff tear tendinitis burs titis in opposite arm.

    • maria58274 maria58274 tina61247

      As Claire says, it is less invasive and very safe.  It's done by an injection  - no surgery, keyhole or otherwise, so no general anaesthetic or recovery time.  Done in about 15 minutes at an out-patients clinic.   My consultant claims very good results for it at his clinic with 90% getting improvement in pain relief and 70% in movement.  You'd need to ask a consultant about whether it is suitable, if other conditions exist but for a frozen shoulder it is well worth trying, if it is available where you are.

  • nicola280664 nicola280664 maria58274

    I've just read your threads with interest.  My physio has now recommended that my doctor refers me to the local shoulder clinic to see a consultant about having a Hydrodilatation.  I have had my frozen shoulder since about July 2015. I didn't go to the doctors until November and he referred me to the Physio.  After a couple of sessions I was given a cortisone injection the week before Christmas, which worked wonders. following Christmas I was admitted to hospital due to developing an infected carrabuncal in my stomach, caused by my insulin pump cannula. This was removed, and left a large gapping wound which is having to be packed and dressed every other day.  This has caused me some problems as it on the opposite side to my FS and I am now unable to sleep on this side now.  The injection has warn off now and the pain is back and feels 100% worse than before. The physio informed me I have less movement now than when I first went to her.  I am willing to try anything now.  It hasn't affected me going to work and I haven't taken time off for this.  I just keep popping the pills and hope that they take the edge off the pain.  I've been told it will take approximately two weeks to get my appointment with the consultant and then approximately 4 weeks to get the appointment date for the procedure. It's going to feel like the longest time. I am at the doctors tomorrow to discuss the referral, but also yo get some stronger painkillers, can anybody recommend painkillers, other than paracetamol and codeine please.  I will keep you update with my progress.

    • claire50742 claire50742 nicola280664

      Nicola, I found Tramdol fantastic, but they say they are addictive albeit I DID NOT find myself wanting or needing more than one just before bed. I did take 2 for a while thinking I would be able to sleep through, however I woke with the WORST headache sad and reverted to just the one. I fiddled with them for a while nd one in the morning would see me through unitl about 3pm and then I used my TENS machine until 8pm when I took the second one for night time. 


    • maria58274 maria58274 nicola280664

      It's a familiar story and so many of us put off going to the doctor, as we don't know what it is and assume it is something that will go away on it's own.  If your stiffness has got worse, it sounds like yout shoulder is still freezing up.  I believe mine had reached the frozen stage when I had my hydrodilatation done - but was told the sooner it is done. the better.  It was my physio that recommended I had this, after seeing good results - including his own mother!   I was lucky enough to have access to Bupa, so got my appointment very quickly.  The NHS doesn't seem to give any priority to people in pain, where it isn't life-threatening.

      As for painkillers I took Ibuprofen and co-codamol at night.  The doctor prescribed me Naproxen but they made me queasy and after I read up on them, didn't want to take them for fear of side-effects.  Nothing completely took the pain away but they took the edge off a bit.  My V-shaped pillow helped me to find a less uncomfortable position to sleep - though it took a time to get used to trying to sleep on my back and propped up.

      Good luck with the hydrodilatation Nicola!  Don't be worried about it, the procedure is quick and not painful.  Let us know how you go on.

  • pollmadoll64 pollmadoll64 maria58274

    I am very interested in this but I was only offered a key hole surgery option I am still recovering. after four months. Where can one get hydrodilatation done??????????

    • Tonto52 Tonto52 pollmadoll64

      I hope you get sorted. I might just add that while hydodilation works for some (many) the extent of the FS is important. If you have extensive adhesion and a very shrunken capsule around the joint then hydrodilation is less effective and capsular release is recomended.

  • maria58274 maria58274

    I realised today that it is now exactly 6 months since my hydrodilatation, so thought I'd post an update.  I'm pleased to say, it is all pretty positive, so I hope it gives some hope to those of you still suffering - things will get better in time.

    6 months on, life is back to normal for me and most days I don't even think about my shoulder.  My movement is back to around 80-90% - difficult to guage exactly - the small amount that's missing doesn't actually stop me from doing anything and it's continuing to return gradually.  I'm not in pain and can sleep - I still find it a little uncomfortable to lie with all my weight on my right shoulder but can find a comfortable position on that side and don't wake up aching in the morning.

    In terms of excercising, I'm far from regular with this but when I think about it, I do some gentle stretching, windmills, etc - anything that rotates the joint (and I am doing this for both shoulders).  I don't push beyond what feels comfortable.  I haven't had any physiotherapy since December  - the physio dismissed me, told me to excercise at home and only come back if I have problems.  I can fasten my bra, put up my hair and reach the high shelves in the kitchen.  I can mow the lawn, vacuum the house (unfortunately, I no longer have an excuse) and do most things I've always done.  What I do avoid is carrying anything too heavy, as I tend to feel this afterwards - thank goodness for supermarket online shopping and home delivery services.

    In terms of my other shoulder, it currently feels OK.  One reason I opted for hydrodilatation was that I'd had twinges in my left shoulder and didn't want to end up with 2 frozen shoulders.  Since then, I've had a few times when I was convinced that it was freezing up.  I'd get that heavy, aching feeling and it started to feel uncomfortable to sleep on.   As I don't like sleeping on my back, I'd spend more of the night sleeping  on the left side and wondered if that might be an issue - or maybe over using that arm to compensate for anything I couldn't yet do with my right arm.  Each time, by being careful not to aggravate my left shoulder, it seemed to get better after a few weeks.  I also made sure I excercised both arms equally, to try to keep both shoulders moving.  Whether my shoulder was simply complaining of overuse or my body had managed to stave off the freezing process, I have no way of knowing.  I also wondered if my continued HRT, is now giving my body the means to stave it off - it's certainly made me feel more normal in other ways.  It's all just guesswork but, fingers crossed, both shoulders are pretty much OK at the moment and I can get on with enjoying my life.

    I do remember those dark days (and especially nights) when I was in pain and the sheer frustration when I couldn't do something.  I hope it won't happen to my other shoulder but for the moment I'm hopeful.  It's been about 14 months since I first noticed shoulder ussues - difficult to say exactly when it started - but I'm largely back to normal now and the last 6 months, since hydrodilatation (and coincidentally or not, when I started back on my HRT) have been pain free and a steady recovery of movement.  

    Good luck to all of you that are still suffering - it's such an awful condition but it will get better in time.  I know I've been relatively lucky in the length of time to get better compared to some on here - but it will get better in time.


    • Pompom100605 Pompom100605 maria58274

      Hi Maria I had my hdrodilation yesterday at BMI Alexandra hospital in Cheadle, after a fall in late January 2017 I fractured my humerus bone which caused impingement so after keyhole surgery in May nothing changed, I now have gone down the line of hdrodilation, today not even 24hrs after procedure there seems to be slight improvement when lifting my arm, I too where my hair up and have been managing to twist my hair at the back with one hand then bend my head down so I can hold the end of my hair down with my bad arm and place the clip in position with my good arm (hard work but I get there), I would really love to just be able to wear my hair in a ponytail with a bobble which is just not happening as I can't hold my hair in position at the back of my head with my left hand (this is my bad arm), your posts have given positivity so hopefully there is light at the end of my tunnel too thank you

    • maria58274 maria58274 Pompom100605

      You can't be far from me - I had my follow up appointment at the Alex, the first time round.  Could be the same consultant or at least part of that team.

      First time round when my shoulder was badly frozem, it took a month or so to get to the point of putting my hair up - little achievments but amazing how much they can mean to us and positive pointers that we are getting better!  For me it was a slow and steady regain of my ROM - but to lose the pain was the best result.  Hope you have a good and sympathetic physio - mine in Wiilmslow has suffered a frozen shoulder herself, so knows what we're going through.  Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    • Pompom100605 Pompom100605 maria58274

      I go back to my physio (nhs) 23rd August, he didn't think I should have had hydrodilation he said it was jumping steps and should go for just the steroid injection, I actually listened to him and phoned Mr Wasseems secretary up to ask for steroid injection first, I'm so glad they talked me round. I don't know if I'm jumping the gun but I've not had any aching feeling since I've had it done because they said I would after the local anaesthetic wore off, I take it it's wore off by now?

    • elaine93514 elaine93514 lyn123xmas

      Stick with it. I too had pain after my Hydro' but is has got a lot better.

      I kept up with the physio as advised, almost all good now apart from raising my arm up my back.

      Pain catches me occasionally when I try to do my bra up so atm I do my bra up in the front.

      I wnt give up tho!!

      It is about 7/8 weeks post hydro for me.

      Complication of a badly broken wrist has not helped I guess.

      Good luck to you, it will improve but keep doing the exercises.

      Good health

    • maria58274 maria58274 lyn123xmas

      Hi Lyn - have you sorted out your excercise regime now? I know at one point you were doing so every 20 minutes and I fear this may have done more harm than good.  I'd give it a rest for a day or two, to give it chance to settle down and keep the excercising gentle and a maximum 3 times a day.

    • lyn123xmas lyn123xmas maria58274

      Hi maria

      Im now doing exercise 3 times a day only short and gentle

      My physio advised to cut down, it was the surgeon who did the hydrodialtion originally who told me every 20 mins

      Im bqck to see the physio again tuesday

      Im happy with the progress in regards to rom but the pain is still bad at night?

    • karen41605 karen41605 Pompom100605

      HI Pompom,I hope you don't mind me getting in touch. I have FS after a bad break and being treated at the Alex we are looking at hdrodilation in Feb 2018 if my bone has healed. It's been 3 months since my accident already but really struggling with movement despite twice weekly physio sessions. I've heard lots of bad stories regards how painful the procedure is can you let me know how tbe procedure was and if you would recommend it,can you also let me know how you FS is now. Its so frustrating not being able to put my hair in a pony asked my husband for help, he's really not good at ponytail haha.

      Kindest regards

    • maria58274 maria58274 karen41605

      Hi Karen - I assume you mean the Alex in Cheadle?  If so, it will be the same team as Prof Funk - I saw him at Wilmslow, where I had my procedures done but had one of the follow ups at the Alex.  I've had hydrodilatation twice now, once on each shoulder (2 and a half years apart).  The first shoulder was very badly frozen and painful, the second one (earlier this year) I got treated much earlier, as I recognised the symptoms.  Neither procedure was painful - at most a little discomfort.  After the first, I was pain free within 2 days but as I was so badly frozen, it took some months to gradually regain most of my movement.  With the second, as I was treated early, the treatment went well  - I hadn't lost so much movement and regained that pretty quickly.  

      Good luck - it worked very well for me both times, at different stages of frozen shoulder.  Let us know how you get on!

  • paul 65670 paul 65670 maria58274

    I’ve read your blog on your Hyrodilatation procedure with interest as I’ve been suffering a frozen shoulder for 5 months and recently had this confirmed by my consultant, who has referred me for Hyrodilatation.

    I had the procedure earlier  today, it was quick with fairly bearable pain as you describe. However, I was given very little advice on how much to move the shoulder now and in the next few days,  I wonder I did you exercise your shoulder much during this period? Or did you just take it easy for the next few days? I was told to do a few pendulums tomorrow but I don’t have any physio lined up. I have read where some recommended more movement following the procedure to “break the adhesions” of adhesive capsulitus, what worked for you? 

    • maria58274 maria58274 paul 65670

      Hi Paul

      I was told not to overdo things for a couple of days, at least 'til the cortisone kicked in, but to see the physio within a week of the procedure.  My physio did a bit of gentle manipulation and stretching but then was happy for me to continue excercising on my own.  He suggested the sort of slow, steady stretching excercises that can be found online, doing enough to stretch the shoulder but not cause pain.  I didn't get immediate release (some do) but experienced a steady improvement over the course of the next few weeks and months.  Good luck - I hope it has worked well for you.  Let us know how you get on.

    • paul 65670 paul 65670 maria58274

      Hi Maria,

      An update on my progress, for the 3 days after my Hyrodilatation the pain became really intense, without moving the shoulder I was constantly in more pain than from the frozen shoulder itself. I was taking strong painkillers to get to sleep. However by day 7, the pain subsided as my body accepted the cortisone and I now have no pain at rest  and pain is only bad when I move my arm beyond  the end of its range. It’s now day 10 and I’ve had a neck, shoulder and back massage, this has helped greatly with my referred  aches and pains caused by the shoulder joint not moving. I have been doing gentle exercise, with pendulums and using a pulley to stretch the arm as far as I can before the pain kicks in. I can currently move my arm forward to 90 degrees,  sideways to 40 degrees, and very little behind my back, whilst this is bearable it’s worse as I’m left handed and it’s my left shoulder.

      So far I’m happy with my progress and pleased I had the  Hyrodilatation, at least I am sleeping well now and I have no real pain unless I move my shoulder too far. However I have not yet had any increase in range of movement,  I’m now almost 6 months into this and  I’m guessing that I’ve now begun the frozen stage. I’m  hoping that like you my range should now gradually increase.After how many months did that happen for you? and do you think the Hyrodilatation helped that,  or was it just the natural progression? 

    • Elainescribens9 Elainescribens9 paul 65670

      Hi Paul having had a MUA seven days ago they r the way forward. ..I've heard gossip that the NHS put a low priority on FS...the first two doctors I saw were certainly not letting me see a consultant...ive seen a post on this sight for a NHS study. They do look interested in offering Hyro or MUA...

      Once a third doctor realised I had private health insurance it was a different story.

      What concerns me is the amount of posts where just strong pain killers are offered. Many drugs I have never heard off. When the two above plus Trigenics but let have more posts on it seem to be the way of shortening the terrible pain.

      I certainly felt my doctors had no idea about FS. I am concerned that they simply do not their patients a choice.

    • maria58274 maria58274 paul 65670

      Hi Paul, sounds like you had a bad reaction to the cortisone maybe - but glad to hear the pain has now subsided.  I'm personally conviced that the treatment  hastened my improvement, though it's not possible to say how long it would have taken without it.  Within about a month, I'd noticed little improvements and by the time I'd had my review with the consultant (7 weeks) I could put up my hair again and fasten my bra - albeit a little awkwardly.  Sorry, these are rather female examples - but these felt like major acheivements at the time.   I was making progress and have continued to do so.  Whether the cortisone made it easier to do the stretching excercises or the treatment helped free up the shoulder, is impossible to say with certainty - I also think being able to sleep again, helped my body with the healing process.  The lack of sleep when I was in pain certainly played havoc with my general immune system and I've never had so many colds!

      It's now 10 months since my treatment and as far as I'm concerned, my life is back to normal (and has been for some time) and don't realy think about my shoulder.  I can sleep and I'm not in pain and do all the things I'd normally do.  There's about 5% of movement still not there but it isn't realy an issue for me. Maybe if I'd been a bit more regular in doing my excercises the last bit would be back by now.  I'd certainly go for hydrodilatation again, should my other shoulder ever freeze - and despite twinges here and there, that shoulder seems OK at the moment, thank goodness.

      Good luck and let us know of your progress.

  • tracy12563 tracy12563 maria58274

    It was sooo good reading your posts! I have had issues with my right shoulder for 2 years and Physio and chiro did nothing !! Finally I was diagnosed with a torn bicep and bone spur. I had surgery in April and the surgery found I also had bad scarring from frozen shoulder . After the surgery I got frozen shoulder again and 6 months on , after 2 cortisone injections it has not gotten any better. My surgeon has now recommended hydrodilation which I have organised for next week. I'm really nervous about the pain from the fluid going into my shoulder ( I hate needles and have a very low pain threshold). sad. But I the pain frozen m the frozen shoulder is soo bad I'll try anything!! Thanks again for your posts !! (. Australia)

    • tracy12563 tracy12563 maria58274

      Ok, so I had the 'hydro..' 2 hours ago. It was really painful but the Dr kept stopping so I could handle the full amount of liquid into my shoulder . He said it would be better if he could get it all in. At first it felt like my arm was on fire but then he used his free arm to put pressure on my shoulder and that helped. Now my arm is just sore and feels heavy. He's given me excercises to do 5minutes at a time 4 times a day. The first is to climb my fingers up a wall facing forward and then sideways and next try and put my hand behind me and up my back . So I'll try them later this afternoon . Fingers crossed this works !! I'm so fed up with not being able to sleep and being in constant pain grrrrrrr.

    • maria58274 maria58274 tracy12563

      Hi Tracey, I had some aching for a couple of days after I'd had it done, until the cortisone kicked in - then no pain.  It actually sounds promising that he got quite a bit of liquid in there, as it might free things up - mine leaked, then he had to stop before he got the full amount in.  Do the excercises but don't overdo it - stop if it causes pain.  I found the best way of excercising behind my back was in the shower when my arm was soapy and slippy.  Guide your bad arm up and down and in circles, using your good arm.  Good luck and I hope you are soon feeling much improved.  Let us know your progress.

    • tracy12563 tracy12563 maria58274

      One more question please, when he was injecting I had serious pain in my bicep down towards my elbow . It's still hurting and I now have a really hard 'bicep muscle' there, sort of like Popeye. It's definitely since the injection sad have you had this, or heard of it ? I can't find anything written about it anywhere.

      The Dr was actually pushing down hard next to the injection needle when he was doing it as the pain I had was coming from the area of this bicep sad

    • maria58274 maria58274 tracy12563

      Hi Tracey. Sorry not to reply sooner.  Whist I didn't experience bicep pain/swelling after the treatment, the bicep in my bad arm did seem noticeably harder, whist my shoulder was frozen.  It did soften as my movement returned.  Not sure why this was so.  How is it now?  If you still have problems, it may be worth contacting the doctor to see what he says.  Good luck.

    • tracy12563 tracy12563 maria58274

      Hi Maria , I did speak to the Dr and he explained that there was air and saline that had gotten into the bicep and to wait a few days for it all to 'move' out and it would get better. So far so good! Still some pain but soooo much better than it was smile

  • Elainescribens9 Elainescribens9 maria58274

    I wish I had read something like this seven yrs ago...I was frightened and suffered for over a year with an arm that became shorter as it frooze into my arm socket. This time around. Three days ago I had an MUA. Fantastic. The first three days are painful. Tens machines. Heat packs before exercise. Ice packs afterwards..this episode started in June. I appreciate it is a difficult decision because u do not know how long any shoulder is going to defrost. All I know is the endless appointments with physios, chiros not shorten a frozen shoulder. It does it's own thing. Yes I have takn eloads of omega 3, tumeric etc...but If only wish I had had the courage to do this last time...Trigenics sounds good. I am glad someone has started a link...

    • jull jull Elainescribens9

      did mua about 4 months ago  i am almost toatallky pain free and have most of my rom back  I still cant reache back to do a bra but otherthen that i can do everything i need to do. good luck !!~

  • mark81260 mark81260 maria58274


    I am a 56yr old male and have been suffering from a frozen shoulder since February last year (2016). I visited my GP who prescribed Naproxen and Tramadol, which now tend to have no effect on me.

    My GP also referred me to see a shoulder and trauma specialist at a local hospital the specialist administered one cortisone injection, which was given to me at 4pm, and by 7pm, that evening had totally worn off.

    I was disappointed as I had waited over 3 months for that appointment and was hoping to be rid of the excruciating pain.

    Some six weeks later, I had to revisit the shoulder specialist who took an X-ray of the shoulder and advised that I would need MUA. I informed him that I did not want the surgery route and so I have been referred to another hospital and another specialist who has now informed me that because my condition has deteriorated he was unable to carry out a hydrolation procedure under ultra-sound but I must now have a fluoroscopy procedure this is planned for February this year (2017).

    I have only seen the physio twice in all this time and on both occasions; I came out with my shoulder covered with sticky plaster.

    I had a frozen shoulder over 15 years ago (in the other shoulder) and at that time I had 3 injections directly into the joint no x-ray no ultrasound it was very painful but I never needed to return as after those injections it recovered and I now have full movement in it.

    The practice now it seems is to drag out the diagnosis and treatment for this condition in the hope that you just go away and don't bother them, but don't give up, keep making a nuisance of yourself remember these specialist’s don’t have to live with the pain.

    I think it needs more research done regarding the causes of this condition.

  • stuart95025 stuart95025 maria58274

    Hi Maria, I had hydrodilation in both shoulders last week, like you the procedures were done at Wilmslow Hospital and were arranged by Prof F.

    I won't repeat what's already been said on this forum but I just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience.  It was the first time in a year of suffering this invisible ailment that I felt anyone understood!

    Four days on and I'm a new man.  The adhesions "popped" in both cases and after initial tenderness I am now so much better in terms of pain and range.  Physiology starts on Monday and although I know there's still a lot to be done, I'm very confident I'll get there.  

    I think people think a frozen shoulder is simila to a stiff neck and have no concept of the misery it can cause if not addressed quickly.  I waited far too long and like you, my advice is to seek help early and get it sorted early.

    Luckily I have private insurance and once I'd decided enough was enough, the appointments came quickly.  This was a year in mind!  The Arm Clinic and Wilmslow Hospital were fabulous and I'd recommend them to anyone NW based.

    Thanks again and happy windmilling ;-)

    • Elainescribens9 Elainescribens9 stuart95025

      Hi Stuart....FS sufferers need to know which specialists r good with FS...I'm shocked the amount of suffering patients go through and understand how frightened they are before they make a decision about MUA or hydrodilitation...and of course lucky to have quick private treatment...good luck with the exercises...

    • maria58274 maria58274 stuart95025

      Hi Stuart.  Glad to hear it worked for you and by the sounds of it, even better than mine in terms of instant release.  The Wilmslow Hospital was great - very friendly and professional, as was the Alexandra at Cheadle, where I saw the Prof for my follow up consultation.  

      If only the NHS was as good-  but unfortunately pain doesn't seem to be a priority in these times of cut backs and apart from issuing pain-killers, any other treatment generally means a long waiting list.  Many GPs seem to know little about the condition and have little sympathy - thank goodness for this forum where others know exactly what we're going through.  Of course, there are differing opinions on the best treatment but at least we get to hear about all the different treatments and the various pros and cons.

      You're also right in that people don't underdtand how painful and debititating this condition can be.  Perhaps we should stop calling it Frozen Shoulder and instead, Adhesive Capsulitis which most people (who haven't suffered) will never have heard of and maybe sounds a bit more serious!

      Good luck with your physio - but don't overdo it.  All the best, Maria

  • ami117 ami117 maria58274

    Hi Maria thank you so much for your thread I'm a 'newbie' with this FS lark and lying here crying in pain at 3am not knowing what to do! I don't have health insurance but am willing to pay for this injection but live in London does anyone know where I can get it done down this way and costs?

    No one seems to get how much pain I'm in and I'm so over it! Thanks x

    • stuart95025 stuart95025 ami117

      Hi Ami

      You've replied to me rather than Maria. Sympathise with your situation and can only recommend that you see your GP and ask for an early referral for treatment. Tell them about the pain and loss of sleep and hopefully they'll take notice. Good luck.


    • Elainescribens9 Elainescribens9 ami117

      Hi....I was just talking about this website almost need a list of recommended specialists...the new Victoria hospital has a good shoulder consultant. I had a MUA at the spire hospital Cheam. ..Mr. Tennant. He offered hydrodilitation.nhs can work depends on yr area...somebody on this site saw privately a NHS consultant then he did the op under the NHS. ..great if u can that in yr area! I cracked one day no sleep...good luck...

    • Elainescribens9 Elainescribens9

      Once uve had the hydrodilitation it's the cost of the physios as well. I used the hospital one for nearly 3 months. Once a week then down to 2 a month...hydrotherapy pool is wonderful...Teddington have one..I now see a really good massage therapist 1/2 a month who I think is better than the physio...still do the exercises and have a swim ...

    • maria58274 maria58274 ami117

      Hi Ami.  If your doctor can't recommend anyone, try Googling for hydrodilatation London, it seems to come up with some possibilities, including an ongoing trial at University College London Hospital, comparing hydrodilatation with steroid injections.  Make sure you choose carefully though, being sure of the credentials of anyone offering it.  Good luck - hope you soon find relief.

  • elaine93514 elaine93514 maria58274

    Hi Maria,

    I to have a frozen right shoulder, brought on by trauma with me breaking my right wrist 4 months ago. Pulling my hair out coping with both pains but I have been referred for dilitation soon!!

    I know what to expect because I suffered a left frozen shoulder 3 years ago & underwent dilitation. It was quite painful I felt but after 15 minutes I felt the relief as tho something had popped. Job was done!

    However, physio was next & this took me some months to get back to near normal but I got there.

    You mentioned you were on your front for your procedure...I was on my back for mine!! They also told me I would be starting physio straight after the procedure.....not looking forward to that😏 Il let you know how I get on...

  • elaine93514 elaine93514 maria58274

    Hi Maria,

    Excuse me for asking but did you pay for your treatment if so what kind of price would I be looking to pay? Hope you dnt mind me on NHS waiting list but going private would be quicker for sure.

    Kind regards

    • maria58274 maria58274 elaine93514

      Hi Elaine, I was lucky enough to have access to BUPA via my husbands job, so it was paid for throuugh that.  I'm not entirely sure how much it cost - it was in the hundreds but not sure how many!   Going prvately (my foirst time) was a revelation - it all happened within a few weeks - very efficiaent and quick.

      I was told I should have physio within about 4 days, giving the injection time to settle down,  My physio did one session and then told me to continue to excercise on my own.  My movement returned with my own, gentle excercises.

      Good luck with the procudure, hope it works well for you.  Let us know how you get on.

    • elaine93514 elaine93514 maria58274

      Thank you for replying Maria, I know that if I was to have an op for my shoulder it would cost about £4450.00. Guess I will have to wait.

      I do endless exercises for my wrist & for my shoulder but the pain has a knock on effect for both. My physio has been wonderful, it was her who referred me to the shoulder consultant thankfully, so maybe I wnt have to wait to long

      When I text my fingers hit the wrong key often because theyr so stiff.

      I will keep you posted.

      Thanks once again....hope you are well & truly recovered.

    • lyn123xmas lyn123xmas elaine93514


      Im so fed up and need to tell someone who understands

      I had a fall on my arm 6 months ago

      Gradually i noticed increase pain and in the last few months i noticed i couldnt wash my hair, tie my hair up and sleep at night

      My right arm is in constant agony and frozen

      I cant sleep

      Taking tramadol isnt helping

      I had hydrodialtion 2 days ago

      I think i have more mo ement ut im still in pain does anyone know if this is normal??

    • elaine93514 elaine93514 lyn123xmas


      Bear with it, I know only too well the pain you have experienced & still getting but you will improve no ends.

      I have had it in both shoulders over the last 3 yrs. I had my recent hydro procedure only 2 months ago & I can lift my arm upright, to the side & up to my opposite shoulder.

      Atm I am not able to get my arm up my back fully but it has improved. Unfortunately for myself I severely broke my wrist on which I then developed FS on the same arm.

      Do keep up with all your physio & you will find improvement in no time. Also you should be able to sleep on the affected side with little or no pain.

      Good luck, bear with it & you should be free of taking painkillers to relieve the pain as I have.

    • maria58274 maria58274 lyn123xmas

      It can take a few days for the cortisone to kick in and help with the pain.  Hang on there and the chances are, you'll get some releif in a day or two.   Good luck and I hope you're soon feeling much better!

    • elaine93514 elaine93514 lyn123xmas

      Hang on in there, you will feel relief. It does make you feel so low & miserable. I felt like giving up because I was so tired thru lack of sleep with the pain and the inability to do simple things thru the day.

      Its hard for you to believe now but you will get better....I pray its very soon for you...good luck & chin up x

    • Mapgirl Mapgirl lyn123xmas

      Hi Lyn

      I had hydrodilation on June 16th and it took at least ten days before I felt in any less pain. However now although I know I have a lot of physio work to do to get full movement back I am at least pain free.  I went on holiday two weeks after the procedure and was able to enjoy everything. I feel I am back to being myself and not a whinging old woman (I am 55).

      I had my procedure done at the NHS diagnostic centre in Cressex, High Wycombe, Bucks, UK.  It was Free but I did have to wait three months from first seeing a doctor, in which time my shoulder was excruiatingly painful and froze really badly despite gentle physio.

      I do hope you are now starting to fee some relief from the pain, mine seemed to get worse initially then got better.

    • maria58274 maria58274 Mapgirl

      Glad to hear it is available on the NHS - but a shame you had to wait 3 months in pain.  It seems to be a standard waiting time for the NHS - if it's not life threatening, you have to wait. The consultant told me that the earlier it is done, the better - not only in stopping the pain but it has a better chance of success.  Did your GP suggest it, or did he send you to see a consultant?

      First time round, all my GP did was prescribe painkillers and offer physio with a 3 month waiting list.  It was only because my hubby has BUPA though his job (couldn't afford it otherwise) that I was able to see a physio quicker privately and (to cut a long story short) it was my second physiotherapist that recommended hydrodilatation.  Second time round, I knew what it was earlier and bypassed the GP all together.  I went from consulant to procedure in less than a week!  Looking at the BUPA statement, it would have cost in the region of £1000, plus £45 a time for private physio - beyond a lot of people's means but worth it if you can afford it.

      Good luck to those still suffering - hope you get some relief soon.

    • lyn123xmas lyn123xmas Mapgirl


      I have now had hydro for 8 days

      I have more movement and a new physio and she seems better

      I can now mive my arm 120 degrees

      Still have pain

      Nights r tge worst and i wake so stiff

      How r u now?

    • Mapgirl Mapgirl lyn123xmas

      Hi Lyn,  Hopefully your pain should ease any day now, I know I was so upset that mine continued after such a painful procedure.  I think going on a walking holiday where I was constantly swinging my arm with walking poles, waving my arm around in the swimming pool (I still swim like Nemo) and stretching in the steam room helped. I keep meaning to go to a pool now I am home but work gets in the way. I am still pretty stiff in the morning and only have about 110 degree vertical movement but being more or less pain free makes me feel more positive that things are loosening. My other shoulder was frozen last year and took at least nine months to get better so I am not expecting too much too soon.

      I am really greatful that my doctor prescribed lots of codine for the pain when I was in the freezing stage as I was always able to sleep and that good sleep pattern has continued without the codine.  They do scare you that it is addictive but I stopped taking it two weeks after my hydro dilation with no ill effects.

      Really hoping things improve for you very soon. 


    • maria58274 maria58274 lyn123xmas

      Excercising every 20 minutes sounds rather excessive to me - is this what you were advised?  It sounds like you may be irritating the shoulder and not allowing it to settle and heal.  I do mine once or twice a day, as I did last time - even skipping a day every now and again to help it settle, if I feel like I've overdone it.  I don't do any excercise that causes pain - stretching but stopping if it becomes too uncomfortable.  The cortisone takes longer to take effect on some than others, so good luck and let us know how you go on.

    • kirstie35710 kirstie35710 lyn123xmas

      Hi lyn123xmas, how are you now? Has it eased? 

      I'm day 3 post hydro and the pain is much worse than before. I am going insane with the pain and lack of sleep. I'm hoping you are better as I suspect I'm similar to you. My pain is shifting constantly so what eases one day makes it worse the next. Currently it's radiating down the inside of my arm and down to my fingers.

      FS for me was post op for torn rotator cuff including decompression which was bungled. I'm feeling utterly depressed about the whole thing as I can't work either.

      Sick of listening to the world service and tweet of the day. Sick of eating paracetamol and getting no relief.

      any advice from anyone.....




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