Arthroscopy is a procedure  used to inspect, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint.

During the procedure, the surgeon inserts the arthroscope into your shoulder through a small incision. It is mostly to repair any damaged tissues. To do this, your surgeon makes 1 to 3 small incisions (cuts) and inserts other instruments through them. A tear in a muscle, tendon, or cartilage is fixed. Any damaged tissue is removed. The scope is connected to a video monitor in the operating room. With the camera the Dr can inspect all the tissues of your shoulder joint and the area above the joint. 

Because the arthroscope and surgical instruments are thin, your surgeon can use very small incisions (cuts), rather than the larger incisions needed for standard, open surgery. This results in less pain for patients and shortens the time it takes to recover and return to favorite activities.

Shoulder arthroscopy has been performed since the 1970s. It has made diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from surgery easier and faster than was once thought possible. Improvements to shoulder arthroscopy occur every year as new instruments and techniques are developed.

Common arthroscopic procedures include:

  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Removal or repair of the labrum
  • Repair of ligaments
  • Removal of inflamed tissue or loose cartilage
  • Repair for recurrent shoulder dislocation

Different ways it can be performed are: Beach chair & Lateral decubitus. Your surgeon will determine which will be better for you.  

After the surgery is common to have some swelling, your doctor will instruct you about ways to take care of it and when your follow up appointment is. Also you probably will require some physical therapy or other forms of therapy to help with the ranges of motion and appropriate healing of your surgery. Good Luck!

Picture: Artur Tumasjan Unsplash

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