Do you have constant shoulder pain that refuses to go away even with medication? You may need joint-specific arthroscopy. Shoulder arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which a surgeon uses a tiny camera, called an arthroscope, to repair shoulder joint tissues. It is a minimally invasive surgery because only a small incision is necessary to insert the camera and tool.


Why Do Doctors Recommend Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Your doctor might recommend shoulder arthroscopy if your shoulder does not respond to nonsurgical treatment options such as medication and physical therapy. Age-related wear and tear, overuse, and injury are often responsible for shoulder issues. Shoulder arthroscopy helps to relieve pain related to many shoulder problems. Since the surgery is minimally invasive, patients have less downtime, feel less pain, and heal faster.


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? | Miers Johnson Orthopedics

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. 


What Should you Expect for Recovery After Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Although this procedure has a shorter recovery time than open surgery, it could still take weeks to months for the shoulder joint to recover fully. Pain medication is administered to relieve pain. You can also use ice cubes to keep the swelling down. 

Avoid using your shoulder too much to speed up healing. Also, do not lie on the operated shoulder for the first few days o 

Why Choose Dr. Miers Johnson for Shoulder Arthroscopy? | Miers Johnson Orthopedics

Why Choose Dr. Miers Johnson for Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Dr. Miers Johnson is a Boise, Idaho surgeon specializing in orthopedic surgical procedures such as total joint replacement, total hip replacement, total knee replacement, total shoulder replacement, and arthroscopy. If you want to learn more about arthroscopic shoulder surgery, contact us to set up a consultation.