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What is Hydrodilatation for Shoulder Joint?

Hydrodilatation for the shoulder joint is a non-surgical procedure primarily used to treat frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis). It involves injecting a substantial amount of saline, along with a steroid, local anesthetic, and contrast material, directly into the glenohumeral joint. This injection is administered under imaging guidance, often using an ultrasound scanner, to ensure precise placement.

The purpose of hydrodilatation is to rupture the thickened and tight shoulder capsule, thereby increasing shoulder mobility and reducing pain. The shoulder joint comprises the head of the humerus and the glenoid cavity of the scapula, surrounded by the shoulder capsule. Inflammation of this capsule leads to the characteristic symptoms of a frozen shoulder, including stiffness and restricted movement.

By stretching the capsule and reducing inflammation, hydrodilatation aims to improve shoulder function and alleviate discomfort associated with frozen shoulder. It is considered an effective and minimally invasive treatment option for restoring mobility and quality of life in individuals with this condition.

Diseases Cured by Hydrodilatation?

Hydrodilatation, also known as hydrodistension, is primarily utilized as a therapeutic intervention for frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis). This condition is characterized by inflammation and thickening of the shoulder joint capsule, leading to pain and restricted mobility. By injecting a combination of saline solution, steroids, local anesthetics, and contrast material into the glenohumeral joint under imaging guidance, hydrodilatation aims to stretch and break up the stiffened capsule, allowing for improved shoulder movement and decreased pain.

Aside from frozen shoulder, hydrodilatation may also be beneficial in the management of other shoulder joint-related conditions such as:

Rotator cuff impingement: Hydrodilatation can help alleviate pain and inflammation caused by impingement of the rotator cuff tendons within the shoulder joint.

Shoulder bursitis: The procedure may be used to reduce inflammation and swelling of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that cushions the shoulder joint.

Calcific tendinitis: Hydrodilatation can aid in dissolving calcium deposits within the shoulder tendons, relieving associated pain and improving range of motion.

How Does it Work?

During a hydrodilatation procedure, you’ll be positioned on an X-ray table, and a radiologist, often assisted by a nurse or radiographer, will perform the procedure. Your shoulder area is cleansed with an antiseptic solution to maintain sterility. Using X-ray guidance, a fine needle is precisely inserted into the shoulder joint. A small amount of contrast medium is then injected through the needle to ensure accurate needle placement.

After confirming the needle’s position, a combination of local anesthetic and steroid is injected into the joint through the needle. Additionally, sterile saline is injected to distend the joint capsule, which may cause a sensation of tightness, heaviness, and mild discomfort in the shoulder. Once all fluids are injected, the needle is removed, and you’ll be advised to rest briefly on the table. This procedure aims to stretch and break up the stiffened shoulder capsule, promoting improved mobility and reduced pain in conditions like a frozen shoulder.

Post Recovery Care

Following a hydrodilatation procedure, it’s important to take certain post-recovery measures for optimal healing and to maximize the benefits of the treatment. Firstly, due to the mild discomfort or residual effects of anesthesia, it’s advisable to have a companion drive you home after the procedure.

In the days immediately following hydrodilatation, gentle movements of the shoulder can be performed to prevent stiffness and promote circulation. However, it’s crucial to avoid heavy lifting or engaging in intense activities that may strain the shoulder joint. This precaution is typically recommended for about three days post-procedure to allow the injected substances to take effect and the shoulder to recover.

Additionally, your healthcare provider will likely schedule a follow-up appointment to assess your progress, monitor any changes in symptoms, and determine the effectiveness of the hydrodilatation procedure. Adhering to these post-recovery care instructions can contribute significantly to a smoother recovery process and optimal outcomes in managing shoulder joint conditions.

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