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Shoulder Arthroscopy

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive procedure where several small incisions are made and a camera and medical instruments are inserted into the shoulder and used to perform the surgery.

Reasons for Having the Procedure

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is normally performed to repair or remove:

  • A torn rotator cuff
  • Cartilage (labrum), ligaments or tendons that are torn or damaged
  • A shoulder joint that is loose or could become dislocated
  • A bone spur or inflammation around the rotator cuff
  • Damaged lining of the joint
  • Loose tissue
  • Reduced movement of the shoulder (shoulder impingement syndrome)

Schedule an Appointment

Find an orthopedic surgeon at Valley Care Clinics who can evaluate your condition and perform arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

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Description of the procedure

You will be given anesthesia during the procedure so you will feel no pain. The surgeon will make several small incisions around your shoulder. A small camera at the end of a thin tube, called an arthroscope, will be inserted through one of the incisions. The surgeon will use this camera to guide the operation. Other surgical instruments will be inserted through the other incisions to perform the surgery. When the surgery is done, the incisions will be closed using stitches and will be covered with a dressing. If there are no complications, you will be sent home the same day.

Risks

Possible risks of arthroscopic shoulder surgery include:

  • Allergic reactions to anesthesia
  • Bleeding, blood clots, infection
  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Weakness of the shoulder
  • Injury to a blood vessel or nerve

Recovery

You may need to wear a sling during the first week, possibly longer depending on the type of surgery done. You may also need physical therapy to regain full strength and motion in your shoulder.

The outlook for recovery from arthroscopic shoulder surgery is very positive. A full recovery may take from one to six months, depending on the type of surgery you had. Returning to work or playing sports may take from one week to several months. Repairing a torn rotator cuff will alleviate the pain, but it may not enable you to regain all strength in the shoulder.