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Considering M.U.A. Procedure for Frozen Shoulder? Here’s How It Works

If you are suffering from a painful frozen shoulder and loss of mobility, a Manipulation Under Anesthesia (M.U.A) procedure may be beneficial to relieve pain and improve your range of motion. 

Learn what to expect from an M.U.A procedure from our team at Impact Med Wesley Chapel. 

What is a Frozen Shoulder? 

Frozen shoulder is a condition that causes stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint and decreased range of motion.

If you are recovering from a medical condition or procedure that prevents you from moving your arms such as a stroke or mastectomy, you are at increased risk of developing a frozen shoulder. 

Frozen shoulder generally develops slowly in three stages, each lasting several months. 

Symptoms of frozen shoulder include:

  • Freezing stage. Movement of your shoulder causes pain, and the range of motion starts to become more limited.
  • Frozen stage. Pain may lessen during this stage, but your shoulder will become stiffer, and range of motion will be minimal. 
  • Thawing stage. The range of motion in your shoulder will begin to improve. 

What is M.U.A?

M.U.A stands for manipulation under anesthesia and can be quite useful in cases of frozen shoulder that have not responded to rehab or therapy. This procedure aims to decrease pain, reduce recovery time, and help patients gain a full range of motion. 

M.U.A is performed while a patient is sedated under anesthesia and generally does not involve any incisions unless your doctor is performing a keyhole surgery in your shoulder called an arthroscopic capsular release. Rather, the physician will manipulate the shoulder through different ranges of motion to cause the scar tissue to stretch and tear. Thus, the tight shoulder capsule is released allowing for an increased range of motion. 

Am I a Candidate for M.U.A?

Generally, M.U.A is beneficial for patients who have a frozen shoulder that was caused by shoulder surgery, an accident, certain types of diabetes, or even no apparent cause. M.U.A can help improve the limited range of movement caused by scar tissue in the capsule, tendons, ligaments, and muscles of the shoulder.

Cases where M.U.A is generally not recommended:

  • Frozen shoulder caused by major shoulder injuries that have in turn caused chronic pain and are referred to as “Post Traumatic Stiffness” which does not usually respond well to manipulation.
  • Frozen shoulder caused by type 1 diabetes usually does not respond well to M.U.A. procedures and the shoulder often refreezes within 2 to 3 weeks.
  • The elderly, frail, and those with osteoporosis should not be manipulated to avoid causing a fracture. 

Is M.U.A Painful? 

Since the physician is manipulating your inflamed and tight tendons, muscles, ligaments, and scar tissue, M.U.A can be painful. But you will be asleep and under anesthesia throughout the procedure to help reduce pain. Your whole arm may be numb for a few hours after the procedure if you are experiencing any sharp pain. 

You will likely be prescribed painkillers to help with the pain once the anesthesia wears off. 

After an M.U.A Procedure 

After your shoulder manipulation procedure, you will likely suffer from increased pain in your shoulder for the first few weeks as the shoulder heals. 

Pain will gradually decrease over time, and you should be able to stretch or exercise for a longer period within 4-6 weeks after the procedure. You may notice that certain movements may get better more quickly than others—this is normal. The most difficult movement to regain after an M.U.A. procedure is stretching your hand up behind your back. 

Further, once your shoulder manipulation procedure is complete, you will need to undergo a physical therapy program to help you regain strength and range of motion. If you don’t, your shoulder could freeze up again. 

  • Pain medications are recommended to control pain
  • Regular exercises need to be done to achieve a full range of motion after an M.U.A procedure
  • If you feel comfortable and have a good range of movement, you can begin driving 1 week after your surgery.
  • Full range of motion is generally achieved after 4 – 6 weeks.

Dealing With a Painful Frozen Shoulder? Consider an M.U.A Procedure at Impact Med 

If you are suffering from a frozen shoulder and rehab or therapy hasn’t helped, call Impact Med in Wesley Chapel for a Manipulation Under Anesthesia (M.U.A) consultation. 

We can help you regain mobility in your shoulder so you can live pain-free and get back to the activities that you love! 

Call Impact Med Wesley Chapel today for an M.U.A consultation—813-953-1002!