Shoulder Arthroscopy is a low perforation or tearing procedure performed to repair damaged parts of the shoulder joint. The surgery takes less than two hours to complete and is less painful than traditional open surgery of the shoulder. This surgical procedure is less pierced or cut, so the recovery period is also shorter. It is not a complex type of surgery and is a common treatment to treat severe shoulder pain.
Why is Shoulder Surgery done?
Your doctor may ask you to have surgery if you have severe pain in your shoulder that cannot be cured with injections or medicines. Usually, due to age and injury, the muscles of the shoulder are damaged and can cause severe pain. Swelling of the shoulder joints can result in cramps or stiffness.
Arthroscopy may be recommended for these shoulder problems:
- A torn or damaged cartilage ring (labrum) or ligaments
- A torn or damaged biceps tendon
- A torn rotator cuff
- A bone spur or inflammation around the rotator cuff
- Shoulder instability, in which the shoulder joint is loose and slides around too much or becomes dislocated (Slips out of the ball and socket joint)
- Loose tissue that needs to be removed
- Shoulder impingement syndrome, to make more room for the shoulder to move around
- Inflammation or damaged lining of the joint, often caused by an illness, such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Arthritis of the end of the clavicle (collarbone)
Risks/ Side Effects of the Procedure
Risks of anaesthesia and surgery in general are:
- Bleeding, blood clots, infection
- Allergic reactions to medicines
- Breathing problems
Risks of shoulder arthroscopy are:
- Shoulder stiffness
- Weakness of the shoulder
- Blood vessel or nerve injury
- Failure of the surgery to relieve symptoms
- The repair fails to heal
- Damage to the cartilage of the shoulder (Chondrolysis)
Prognosis of the Surgery
Arthroscopy often results in less pain and stiffness, fewer complications, a shorter (if any) hospital stay, and faster recovery than open surgery.
If you had a repair, your body needs time to heal, even after arthroscopic surgery, just as you would need time to recover from open surgery. Because of this, your recovery time may still be long.
Surgery to fix a cartilage tear is usually done to make the shoulder more stable. Many people recover fully, and their shoulder stays stable. But some people may still have shoulder instability after arthroscopic repair.
Using arthroscopy for rotator cuff repairs or tendinitis usually relieves the pain, but you may not regain all of your strength.