The recovery from non-operative treatment of frozen shoulder can take one to three years. It is important for patients with frozen shoulder to understand the natural course of the disease and how long it can persist. A home stretching program, combined with a supervised program with a skilled therapist, can speed the recovery process in many cases.


Following surgery:

  • Patients usually remain in the hospital for one to two days. During this time, pain medication is delivered directly to the joint through a catheter.

  • While in the hospital, patients begin an aggressive shoulder motion program supervised by a physical therapist.

  • Patients are encouraged to use the treated arm for daily activities. A sling is not worn.

  • Patients are put on a home stretching program that is to be done between structured therapy appointments.

  • Surgical incisions are to be kept clean, dry, and covered until the doctor sees the patient at the follow-up visit, normally about ten days after surgery. Stitches are usually removed at this time.

  • Progress is closely monitored with regular office visits. Specific weaknesses or motion limitations are addressed during these visits.

  • The strengthening phase of a rehabilitation program begins after the patient has achieved a full, pain-free arc of motion. This generally takes at least three months.

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