Understanding a Shoulder Arthroscopy
Shoulder arthroscopy. Shoulder arthroscopy is surgery that uses a tiny camera (arthroscope) to examine or repair the tissues inside or around your shoulder joint. The arthroscope is inserted through a small incision.
Q: What are the benefits of arthroscopic surgery?
A: With an arthroscopic surgery, you’ll have less pain after the procedure. You'll have loss of a risk for complications. This procedure may be performed as out-patient surgery.
Q: Is arthroscopy considered surgery?
An Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure on a joint in which an examination and/or treatment of injury is performed using an arthroscope.
Q. How long does it take to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery?
A. It can take between four to six weeks for the knee joint to re-establish normal joint fluid after arthroscopic surgery.
Q: When is a Shoulder Arthroscopy recommended?
A: Your doctor may recommend shoulder arthroscopy if you have a painful condition that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment. Nonsurgical treatment includes rest, physical therapy, and medications or injections that can reduce inflammation.
Q: What is Inflammation?
A: Inflammation is one of your body's normal reactions to injury or disease. In an injured or diseased shoulder joint, inflammation causes swelling, pain, and/or stiffness.
Injury, overuse, and age-related wear and tear are responsible for most shoulder problems. Shoulder arthroscopy may relieve painful symptoms of many problems that damage the rotator cuff tendons, labrum, articular cartilage, and other soft tissues surrounding the joint.
Common arthroscopic procedures include:
- Rotator cuff repair;
- Bone spur removal;
- Removal or repair of the labrum;
- Repair of ligaments;
- Removal of inflamed tissue or loose cartilage;
- Repair for recurrent shoulder dislocation.
Blood tests, an electrocardiogram, or chest x-ray may be needed to safely perform your surgery.
If you have certain health risks, a more extensive evaluation may be necessary before your surgery.
Be sure to inform the doctor of any medications or supplements that you take. You might need to stop taking some of these prior to surgery.
If you’re in good health, your arthroscopy will most likely be performed as an outpatient. Meaning, you will not need to stay overnight at the hospital.
The hospital or surgery center will contact you ahead of time to provide details about your procedure. Make sure to follow the directions on when to arrive. Most importantly make sure you follow the rules of when to stop eating or drinking prior to your surgery.
Before the operation, a member of the anesthesia staff will talk with you about anesthesia options.
Note, a shoulder arthroscopy is most commonly performed using regional nerve blocks which numb your shoulder and arm. This numbing medicine is injected in the base of your neck or high on your shoulder. This is where the nerves that control feeling in your shoulder and arm are located. In addition to its use as an anesthetic during surgery, a nerve block will help control pain for a few hours after the surgery is completed.
Most arthroscopic procedures take less than one hour; however, the length of your surgery will depend on what your surgeon finds and what repairs are required.