What is Shoulder Arthroscopy?
Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that can repair injuries to the rotator cuff . This procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia. Shoulder arthroscopy involves using a small camera to see inside the shoulder. This surgery requires only a small incision and is one of the least invasive options of surgical pain management for shoulder injuries. It often results in less pain, shorter or no hospital stay, fewer complications, and a faster recovery than open surgery.
Recovery after shoulder arthroscopy can take 1-6 months depending on why it was performed. Arthroscopy usually relieves pain associated with the injury that caused it and can lead to a more stable shoulder.
When is Shoulder Arthroscopy Recommended?
Shoulder arthroscopy may be recommended for people who suffer from shoulder injuries, especially if pain cannot be managed with physical therapy and medication. Examples of shoulder conditions where arthroscopy may improve symptoms include:
There are other shoulder conditions and injuries where your doctor may recommend shoulder arthroscopy. Arthroscopy may also be used for exploratory surgery to investigate pain from an unknown cause.
Shoulder Arthroscopy - What Happens During the Procedure?
Shoulder arthroscopy is usually performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient surgery. During the surgery, an orthopedic surgeon will make a small incision and insert an arthroscope. The arthroscope will be connected to a monitor in the operating room that will allow your surgeon to inspect any damage inside your shoulder.
After your orthopedic surgeon finishes assessing the injury, he or she may make 1-3 more small incisions to repair damaged tissues. Inflamed and damaged tissues will be removed, and any tears will be repaired. After the procedure is finished, all incisions will be stitched closed and bandaged.
What is the recovery like for Shoulder Arthroscopy?
While shoulder arthroscopy is less invasive than open surgery, it still may require several months to heal depending on the repairs required. You will most likely be required to wear a sling for the first week afterward. Medication may be prescribed for pain, and your doctor will recommend over-the-counter options as well.
When you will be able to return to work and normal activities will depend on what your surgery involved. Your surgeon may recommend physical therapy to help you regain flexibility and strength in your shoulder. You may still have some weakness and instability even after surgery, and it may take a long time for your shoulder to return to normal. Patience is key when recovering from shoulder arthroscopy.
Why Choose Gustavel Orthopedics for Shoulder Arthroscopy?
Dr. Michael Gustavel is Idaho's premier board-certified orthopedic surgeon. With 20 years of practice in sports medicine, Dr. Gustavel can treat a wide variety of shoulder injuries. If your shoulder pain is affecting your daily life, schedule an appointment at Gustavel Orthopedics to start your journey towards reducing your shoulder pain.