Hydrodilatation services offered in Montclair, NJ

The growth of scar tissue can cause your shoulder to freeze and become painful after you break your arm or undergo surgery. To break down this scar tissue and restore your mobility, Melissa Mascaro, MD, Joelle Stabile Rehberg, DO, and Christina Hector, DO, perform hydrodilatation at Family and Sport Medicine Institute of NJ in Summit and Montclair, New Jersey. Call the office or schedule a treatment consultation online for frozen shoulder today.

Hydrodilatation Q & A

What is hydrodilatation?

Hydrodilatation is a treatment that can break down scar tissue within joints to alleviate stiffness and pain. During the treatment, the team at Family and Sport Medicine Institute of NJ injects fluid into your painful joint using imaging studies to guide the needle into the joint space. 

The fluid injection expands the joint space, breaking apart the stiff and firm scar tissue. This loosens the joint to restore its ability to move smoothly and painlessly. 

What does hydrodilatation treat?

In general, hydrodilatation is a treatment for conditions that cause joints to have excessive stiffening scar tissue within them. One such condition, and the primary condition hydrodilatation treats, is frozen shoulder. 

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, happens when you must keep your shoulder in one position for an extended period of time. Sometimes this happens when you break your arm and have to keep it in a sling. It can also occur after surgery. 

Scar tissue grows inside the joint, which makes the joint stiff. The condition occurs in three stages:

Freezing stage

During the freezing stage, you struggle to move your shoulder because of the pain. This stage can last for 2-9 months. 

Frozen stage

During the frozen stage, you’re unable to move your shoulder, but the pain isn’t as intense. This stage typically lasts 4-12 months. 

Thawing stage

The thawing stage is when you can finally begin to move your shoulder again. This stage lasts 5-24 months, and you can minimize the time frame with personalized treatments like hydrodilatation. 

What should I expect during hydrodilatation?

Before hydrodilatation starts at Family and Sport Medicine Institute of NJ, the team cleans your skin around the stiff joint. As you relax on an examination table, the team uses an X-ray to gently guide a very fine needle into your joint. 

Once the needle is in place, the team injects a mixture of local anesthesia and a corticosteroid into the joint. Together, these substances minimize pain and inflammation.

Finally, the team injects saline into your shoulder to expand and loosen the joint. You might feel some mild tightness or discomfort immediately after the saline injection. The team then removes the needle and advises you to relax for a few minutes before having a friend or family member drive you home. 

To find out if you can benefit from hydrodilatation to loosen a stiff and scar-filled joint, call Family and Sport Medicine Institute of NJ or book an appointment online today.