Shoulder Hydrodilatation

You have been referred to Imaging @ Olympic Park to have a shoulder hydrodilatation procedure. Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a condition where there is inflammation and contracture of the joint capsule surrounding the shoulder joint. This usually leads to pain and loss of movement or stiffness of the shoulder. Your doctor has referred you for a simple procedure aimed to ease the pain and bring movement to the shoulder.

No preparation is necessary.

This treatment is performed under imaging guidance by an experienced Radiologist who is assisted by a nurse or radiographer.

You will be asked to change into a hospital gown with clothing from the waist up removed. Your procedure will be discussed with you and before commencing you will be asked to sign a consent form.

You will be positioned on the X-Ray Fluoroscopy table, with the affected arm by your side and the palm of your hand facing the ceiling. The table will be raised to working height and the X-Ray Fluoroscopy tube moved so that it is directly above the shoulder joint. This is so the Radiologist can be assured that the fluid to be injected is flowing into the shoulder joint.

The skin is then cleaned with an antiseptic solution to reduce the chance of infection. Using a sterile technique a fine needle is placed into the shoulder joint by the Radiologist and a small amount of X-Ray contrast or air is injected to ensure correct needle placement. When this is confirmed the steroid and local anesthetic mixture is injected, followed by a small amount of saline (sterile water).

At this stage the shoulder may feel tight or heavy and you may experience a small amount of discomfort. Please inform the Radiologist or nurse of these sensations if they occur.

Once all the fluid has been injected the needle is removed and you will rest on the table for a few minutes before sitting up and getting dressed.

Post Procedure Care
We advise that if possible you should bring a driver with you so that you can rest the arm and be driven home.

For the next 2 to 3 days following the procedure we ask that you refrain from any aggressive movements that may raise your arm above your head like swimming, lifting heavy objects and intense arm exercises. Very gentle movement of the shoulder is allowed and preferred.

A small facial or neck rash may occur for 2 to 3 days after the procedure. This is due to the steroid and will resolve by itself.

Infection (1:15,000) is a serious concern so we ask if there is redness around the injection site, with increased pain and you have an elevated temperature that you contact either us or your referring doctor immediately.

A follow-up visit with your referring doctor is recommended.

Things we need to know from you
Please inform the Radiology staff of any of the following:

  1. If you are a diabetic (your sugar levels may increase over the next few days due to the cortisone).
  2. If you are allergic to any medications or X-Ray contrast (air can be substituted to check the needle placement).
  3. If you are on any blood thinning medications, especially Warfarin.
  4. If you are not feeling well or wish to cancel please ring immediately (someone else can be offered your appointment time).

Female Patients: Please let us know if you are pregnant or suspect you may be.

Please bring to your appointment
Please bring your referral from your doctor along with the following:

  1. Medicare Card
  2. Pension/Concession Card
  3. Previous films

It is important you understand why and how we will be assisting you. Please feel free to contact our friendly staff at any time if you have any questions or concerns on 03 9420 1700.