Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

What is Arthroscopic Surgery?

Arthroscopic surgery is often used to treat a sports injury of the joint. It is minimally invasive and is done with the guidance of a microscopic camera called an arthroscope that is placed into the body with a small incision. The surgeon can see and evaluate the entire joint while repairing any injuries. Surgical tools that are used for grasping, cutting, and probing are generally inserted through another small incision.

Who Benefits from Arthroscopic Surgery?

Individuals with injuries to the joint caused from sports are primary candidates. The surgery may also be used in place of total replacement surgery in some patients with mild to moderate chronic problems. Injuries treated with arthroscopic surgery include repairs to the rotator cuff of the shoulder, shoulder instability (where the shoulder joint is loose and slides around too much or becomes dislocated), shoulder impingement syndrome (where the shoulder needs more room to move around), or labral tear.

What is Involved in the Surgery and How Long Will I Take to Recover?

Arthroscopic surgery is generally an outpatient procedure and takes about one to two hours to complete depending upon the location and extent of the injury. A general or local anesthetic is administered before any incision is made. Most patients can return home the same day as their surgery. Recovery from arthroscopic surgery is much faster than open joint surgery. The small puncture wounds created for the surgery may take several days to heal and dressings and bandages may be applied to the post-operative area. For patients, this fast recovery time means a quicker return to everyday activities, some of which they might not have been able to enjoy for some time because of pain.

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