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Capsular release of the shoulder

Arthroscopic capsular release

A type of keyhole surgery for frozen shoulder problems which aims to release the stiffness caused by frozen shoulder

What is a capsular release?

Capsular release of the shoulder is a type of minimally invasive surgery which can help to relieve pain and severe stiffness caused by a condition called frozen shoulder. This condition is when the flexible tissue that surrounds the shoulder joint (the capsule) becomes inflamed and thickened.

Need to know

  • What happens during capsular release surgery? icon plus

    This operation is usually carried out under general anaesthetic, so you'll be asleep. You will lie on your side while the procedure is done. Your consultant will make three or four small cuts in your shoulder. They will insert an arthroscope — a small telescope with a light and camera — into one of the cuts so they can see inside your shoulder. A special probe is inserted through the other cuts in your shoulder. This is used to release the tightness in your shoulder by dividing or cutting out the thickened parts of the shoulder capsule. Your surgeon will then close the cuts in your shoulder using stitches.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    As with all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you and let you know what's involved in the operation. If you're having a general anaesthetic, your consultant will let you know how long to avoid eating and drinking beforehand.
  • After capsular release surgery icon plus

    You will be cared for in hospital following your operation. You will be given painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication if you need them. You may also be given a local anaesthetic during the operation to help with pain relief once the procedure is over.

    A member of our physiotherapy team will give you advice and exercises to help your shoulder to recover before you are discharged. Your consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine, including going back to work and exercise.

Our shoulder consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts specialising in injuries to the shoulder and elbow, and whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.
Consultant in theatres

Our locations

From complex orthopaedic surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional orthopaedic care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Wellington Hospital - South Building

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 020 7586 5959

  • London Bridge Hospital

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments & Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773

  • The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7730 8298
    General enquiries 020 7730 7733

  • The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 7908 8001
    General enquiries 020 7486 1234

  • The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • HCA UK at The Wilmslow Hospital

    52-54 Alderley Road

    Wilmslow

    SK9 1NY

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 01615 160 961

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    HCA UK at The Shard

    The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street

    London

    SE1 9BS

    Call 020 3131 6888
    Opening hours 7:30 - 20:00 Monday - Friday

  • London-bridge-31-old-broad-street

    31 Old Broad Street

    31 Old Broad Street

    London

    EC2N 1HT

    Call 020 7496 3522

  • Facility-chelsea-outpatient-cenre-hero-579x579

    Chelsea Outpatient Centre

    280 Kings Road

    London SW3 5AW

    Call 020 7881 4114
    Opening times 8am - 8pm

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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