DePuy Synthes

Shoulder Arthroscopy Overview

DePuy Synthes

Shoulder Arthroscopy Overview

If you have tried medication, physical therapy and other conservative methods of treatment, and you are still experiencing shoulder pain, your doctor may recommend shoulder arthroscopy.

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What Can Arthroscopic Surgery Treat?

Arthroscopic surgery can be used to diagnose and treat shoulder injuries. This minimally invasive approach to surgery can help speed recovery, reduce pain and minimize scarring, when compared to traditional open surgery. Orthopaedic surgeons can use arthroscopic surgery to perform a variety of procedures, including: the removal of small bits of bone or cartilage, the repair or removal of torn tendons, the removal of inflamed bursae, or the removal of inflamed synovium. Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that can reduce friction between moving parts in your body’s joints. The synovium lines the entire inner surface of the joint, except where there is cartilage. What are the potential benefits of arthroscopic surgery?

  • less pain following the procedure
  • lower risk of complications
  • shorter hospital stay
  • out-patient surgery option
  • quicker recovery
  • less scarring 


What Happens During Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery?

Arthroscopy uses a device called an arthroscope. This tiny, pen-shaped instrument has a micro video camera attached to the end. The arthroscope is inserted through a tiny incision in the shoulder. The camera relays images to a computer screen. Surgeons can use the images to diagnose the joint problem and to carry out appropriate surgery.

During this procedure, you will probably be given an IV so you can get the right fluids and medications. Shoulder arthroscopy may be performed under general or regional anesthesia.

During the surgery, several tiny incisions are made to insert the arthroscope and surgical instruments. First, the surgeon uses the arthroscope to view the shoulder and evaluate the bones, tendons and ligaments. Then the surgeon uses small instruments to make necessary repairs.




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As with any medical treatment, individual results may vary. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell if shoulder arthroscopy is right for you.

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