Question:I had an operation on my shoulder to tighten it up and keep it from dislocating. Unfortunately, it worked too well. Now I can hardly move it at all. Will this gradually get better?
Answer:Over tightening the shoulder causing loss of motion and decreased function are reported with traditional open surgical treatment of shoulder instability. Long-term reports of such cases suggest over tightening with loss of motion can lead to arthritis.
It's unlcear what the best treatment is for this complication. Conservative care with a physical therapist to increase range of motion may be helpful. A second surgery may be needed to avoid developing osteoarthritis (OA) from over compression of the joint. The surgeon can release some of the soft tissues around the front of the shoulder.
If painful OA does occur, then a shoulder replacement may be needed. A partial replacement called a hemiarthroplasty may be all that's needed. Your surgeon will help you decide what's the next best step. Your age, general health, and shoulder condition will all be considered in making the best treatment decision for you.William J. Ciccone II, MD, et al. Glenohumeral Chondrolysis Following Thermal Capsulorrhaphy. In Orthopedics. February 2007. Vol. 30. No. 2. Pp. 158-160.
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