Adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder, more commonly known as “Frozen Shoulder”, is a stiffness in the shoulder joints that can result in pain and reduced mobility. This condition typically worsens over time, and is caused by inflammation of the tissue surrounding the shoulder joint. This tissue is known as the shoulder capsule.
Frozen shoulder is most common in women, and is more likely to occur between the ages of 40 and 60. If you are recovering from a stroke or a surgical procedure that prevents the movement of your arm, that can increase your risk of developing frozen shoulder. Medical conditions like heart and thyroid disease, Parkinson’s, and diabetes have also been linked to frozen shoulder.
The symptoms of frozen shoulder come in three distinct stages, and develop slowly over a period of time. The first is the “freezing stage”, where shoulder mobility begins to decay as pain increases. Next is the “frozen stage”, in which pain is reduced but the ability to use the shoulder becomes increasingly difficult. The third is referred to as the “thawing stage” in which pain can decrease, and some mobility returns. This stage can take months, even years, to reach without treatment.
Frozen shoulder is diagnosed via a physical exam given by your primary physician. They will check the extent to which you can move your shoulder, and the pain you experience during movement. If the doctor cannot conclusively diagnose you with frozen shoulder from a physical exam alone, they may order more extensive testing. This can include an MRI, ultrasound, or x-rays; this is in an effort to rule out conditions with similar symptoms, like a torn rotator cuff.
Adhesive capsulitis embolization, or ACE, is a minimally-invasive treatment that offers relief from the symptoms caused by frozen shoulder. The pain caused by this condition results from blood vessels in the lining of the shoulder joint that cause inflammation. ACE works by blocking these vessels, causing the blood supply fueling the inflammation to cease.
A specialist trained in vascular procedures known as an interventional radiologist performs the ACE procedure, and starts by making a small cut in the arm near the shoulder, and inserts a thin catheter. Using x-ray guidance, they guide the catheter to the blood vessels causing the shoulder’s inflammation. Once there, small microspheres are released, and begin working to stem the flow of blood. Once the blood supply is properly reduced, the inflammation will begin to decrease. The catheter is then removed, and the procedure is done.
ACE is best suited for those experiencing the first or second stage of frozen shoulder, and don’t wish to wait the lengthy period it takes to reach stage three. It can take well over a year before the symptoms of frozen shoulder resolve on their own, if at all.
This treatment also works best for those who don’t wish to resolve their frozen shoulder with more intensive procedures like shoulder surgery. ACE gives patients who wish to get back to normal daily activities the ability to do so quickly, without an extended recovery time.
As a minimally-invasive procedure, ACE does not necessitate a large incision, and therefore does not result in the scarring associated with surgical operations. It also carries less risk of complications and infection that comes with a treatment like shoulder surgery.
While the patient is sedated and comfortable, general anesthesia is not used, so they remain conscious for the duration of the procedure. ACE is a same-day procedure, so once the treatment is concluded you can leave the facility and recover in the comfort of your own home.
The next step is to make sure you select the best possible facility for your adhesive capsulitis embolization. It’s important to choose medical professionals who are not only highly trained, but use the latest in state-of-the-art medical technology.
If you want to ensure that your procedure is carried out by skilled vascular specialists, you’ll want to go with ProVas Labs.
At ProVas Labs, we know that adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder can be a painful and debilitating condition. We make it our mission to ensure each of our patients regain healthy mobility, and experience significant relief from symptomatic pain.
Shoulder surgery is not your only option. If you don’t wish to undergo surgery, ACE can offer you relief from the symptoms of frozen shoulder without the risk and discomfort of invasive procedures. We understand you have questions, and our trained professionals have answers. Simply schedule a consultation today!
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