With arthroscopy. not only can surgeons inspect the knee’s interior but they can also repair, remove or reconstruct its parts. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasiVe diagnostic and surgical procedure performed for joint problems. It is used by orthopedic surgeons to treat disease conditions and injuries involving the bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles of the shoulder joint. Injury and disease to the bones or soft tissues of the shoulder joint can make it unstable, and lead to pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility.
Shoulder arthroscopy is performed using a pencil-sized instrument called an Arthroscope. The arthroscope consists of a light system and camera to project images to a computer screen for the surgeon to clearly view the surgical site. Advantages of shoulder arthroscopy over open surgery include less painful, faster recovery, often done in outpatient setting and few complications.
Shoulder arthroscopy is indicated to treat the following shoulder conditions when conservative treatment such as medication and therapy fails to relieVe pain and disability:
- Shoulder impingement
- Rotator cuff tear
- Frozen shoulder or stiffness of the shoulder joint
- Shoulder instability
- Biceps rupture
- Damaged cartilage or ligaments
- Bone spurs or bony projections
- Arthritis of the collarbone
Shoulder arthroscopy is performed under general or regional anesthesia. Sterile fluid is injected into the shoulder joint to expand the surgical area, so that the surgeon has a clear view of the damage and room to work. A small hole is made in the shoulder and the arthroscope is inserted. Then surgical instruments are introduced into the joint through separate small holes to remove and repair the damage to the joint. After surgery, the instruments are removed, and the incisions are closed with stitches or small sterile bandage strips.
After the surgery, the small surgical wounds take a few days to heal, and the surgical dressing is replaced by simple Band-Aids. The recovery time depends on the type and extent of the shoulder injury or problem. Pain medications are prescribed to keep you comfortable. The arm of the affected shoulder may be placed in a sling as recommended by your doctor. Physical therapy may be prescribed to improve shoulder mobility and strength after the surgery.