Recurrence of frozen shoulder after manipulation under anaesthetic (MUA): THE RESULTS OF REPEATING THE MUA

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Manipulation under anaesthetic (MUA) is a recognised form of treatment for patients with a frozen shoulder. However, not all patients benefit. Some have persistent or recurrent symptoms. There are no clear recommendations in the literature on the optimal management of recurrent frozen shoulder after a MUA. We aimed to address this issue in this study.

Patients and Methods

We analysed a prospectively collected, single-surgeon, consecutive series of patients who underwent MUA for frozen shoulder between January 1999 and December 2015. The Oxford Shoulder Scores (OSS) and range of movement were the outcome measures.


A total of 730 patients (792 shoulders) underwent MUA during the study period. A further MUA was undertaken in 141 shoulders (17.8%), for which we had complete data for 126. The mean improvement in OSS for all patients undergoing MUA was 16 (26 to 42), and the mean post-operative OSS in those requiring a further MUA was 14 (28 to 42;t-test, no difference between mean improvements, p = 0.57). Improvement was seen after a further MUA, regardless both of the outcome of the initial MUA, and of the time of recurrence. Patients with type-1 diabetes mellitus were at a 38% increased risk of requiring a further MUA, compared with the 18% increased risk of the group as a whole (p < 0.0001).


Patients with a poor outcome or recurrent symptoms of a frozen shoulder after a MUA should be offered a further MUA with the expectation of a good outcome and a low complication rate.

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