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.
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.