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Hydrodistension injection for frozen shoulder- A patients’ perspective

I thought that it might be useful for people to hear directly from a patient what it is like to receive a hydrodistension injection for frozen shoulder.

I carried out a hydrodistension procedure for Rebecca’s frozen shoulder approximately 6 weeks ago now. The total volume injected was 20ml before capsular rupture.

I recently asked her to describe what it is like to have a frozen shoulder injected with a high volume. I also wanted to know her progress.

Below is her account:

What was the reason that you were given a hydrodistension injection?

A three month old frozen shoulder

Can you describe the procedure? (whatever you can remember of it).

After explaining what he had seen on the ultrasound scan, Robert inserted the needle into the back of my shoulder and talked me through the procedure as he inserted 5ml fluid into the joint space, I felt a fullness in the shoulder joint/capsule, Robert then asked if I felt he could inject more fluid in, after I agreed he was able to inject another few ml before I felt a pop as the capsule released


Was it painful?

It was uncomfortable, however the main feeling was a fullness of the shoulder, it felt as though the joint was going to burst

Were you adversely affected in your day to day activities immediately adter the injection?

No adverse effects at all


How long after the injection did you first feel the benefit?

Pain reduction over the first week, movement increased over the following 5-6 weeks


Has the injection made a difference to your day to day activities?

A significant functional improvement which would not have been possible without the intervention

Has your shoulder improved further  over the weeks /months since the injection? please describe in what way:

Increased range of movement, strength and function over the following 5 weeks



Thank you for anwering these questions!!


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