What Diagnoses Are Treated with Shoulder Arthroscopy?
Surgeons can treat the following common shoulder conditions with should arthroscopy:
- Recurrent shoulder dislocation
- Rotator cuff tear
- Ligament tear
- Loose cartilage and inflamed tissue
- Torn labrum
Other procedures such as fracture repair and nerve release can also be done with an arthroscope. Complicated procedures like shoulder replacement require open surgery.
What Happens During Shoulder Arthroscopy?
Once in the operating room, you will be given regional nerve blocks to numb your shoulder. Your surgeon will position you for surgery, depending on the procedure being performed. The standard positions for shoulder arthroscopy are:
- Lateral decubitus – A position where the patient lies on their side.
- Beach chair – A position similar to lounging in a recliner.
The surgery site is wiped down with antiseptic and covered with sterile drapes. The surgeon injects fluid into the area to inflate your shoulder joint, then makes a small incision for the arthroscope. Images are projected onto a video screen for the medical team to look for damage.
Once the problem is identified, your surgeon inserts tiny instruments through the incision to treat it. The cut is then stitched and covered with a bandage.