The Role of Arthroscopic Capsular Release

  • Guillermo ArceEmail author
  • Giovanni Di Giacomo
  • Jiwu Chen


“Primary frozen shoulder syndrome” or simply “frozen shoulder” constitutes a self-limited disorder and, therefore, conservative treatment should be the first treatment option. After failing a well-supervised, 6-month physical therapy program and three steroid injections, arthroscopic capsular release (ACR) is indicated. This surgical procedure carries certain advantages over other treatment alternatives including capsular distension or manipulation under anesthesia. First, it allows precise and controlled release of the capsule and ligaments reducing the risk of traumatic complications observed after forceful shoulder manipulation. Second, ACR is a straightforward surgical technique. Third, radiofrequency excision of the involved structures along with postprocedural oral steroid administration delays healing and allows for a tolerable rehabilitation program. Fourth, the procedure is performed with the patient fully awake under interscalene block, which boosts patients’ confidence and adherence to a physical therapy protocol. In patients with refractory frozen shoulder, ACR remains a valuable option and leads to a quicker and consistent recovery.


Shoulder Stiffness Frozen Arthroscopy Release 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© ISAKOS 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillermo Arce
    • 1
    Email author
  • Giovanni Di Giacomo
    • 2
  • Jiwu Chen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryInstituto Argentino de Diagnóstico y TratamientoBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,Concordia HospitalRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine CenterHuashan Hospital, Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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