Arthroscopy is a closed surgery method that has been in use for a quarter century. It enables viewing and treatment of joint problems through miniscule pinholes of about a 0,5cm in diameter without the need for large incisions. The process involves penetration into the joint with the help of a tiny camera called the arthroscope that provides high-resolution imaging of the degenerated structures inside the joint. The surgeon uses equally small instruments for the operation and gains access into the joint through another pinhole incised on the knee. This closed surgical intervention is preferred first and foremost for the treatment of the knee, shoulder, and ankle issues.

Shoulder arthroscopy can be performed for shoulder problems such as recurrent shoulder dislocations, rotator cuff tears, and muscle impingement. Providing comfort and safety during operation and post-operative processes for patients, shoulder arthroscopy has many advantages over traditional open surgery. The method enables the surgeon to have a highly detailed view of the operated area captured with high definition imaging and zooming. Due to the small size of incisions, patients recover more quickly through a more comfortable post-operative process.

Shoulder Arthroscopy: Surgical Procedure

Soulder arthroscopy can be carried out under general or local anesthesia. There are two main operative positions. The decision about operation position entirely depends on practice habits of the surgeon as neither position has advantage or disadvantage over the other. First the surgeon determines pinhole locations through which the operation is performed. After opening miniscule holes on the surface for the camera, the surgeon examines the inner structures of the joint on the monitor connected to the camera. As the surgeon follows the imaging on the screen, he starts performing the operation by using treatment instruments through the holes on the shoulder. The overall operation takes about 1 hour although this can vary according to the required procedure.

Advantages of Shoulder Arthroscopy

As a closed surgical procedure, shoulder arthroscopy has some clear advantages over open surgery the most notable of which is the quick and comfortable recovery process due to small size of incisions. Also, detailed imaging the technique provides makes it distinctly different from other surgical methods. Below are the advantages and benefits of shoulder arthroscopy:

  • Detailed imaging
  • Comfortable operation procedure for surgeons
  • Safe surgical procedures
  • Low risk of complications
  • Quick recovery
  • Considerably less painful post-operative period
  • Hardly noticeable scars

Injuries and Diseases Suitable for Shoulder Arthroscopy

Shoulder arthroscopy is one of the most commonly practiced surgical methods in orthopaedics. This is related with the fact that shoulders can get injured frequently as much as with the flexible nature of arthroscopy as a surgical intervention. Shoulder arthroscopy is the preferred approach in most recurrent shoulder dislocations and rotator cuff injuries though surgeons may also consider it for some rheumatic diseases, certain cases shoulder movement restriction, early stage arthritis, and extraction of loose bodies within the joint.