Shoulder Arthroscopy Surgery, also referred to as "a shoulder scope," is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used by orthopaedic surgeons to treat various painful disorders of the shoulder such as rotator cuff tendon tears, cartilage disorders, shoulder instability, torn ligaments and bone spurs. An arthroscope is an instrument, thinner than a pencil (<5mm), that has a system of lenses, a light and a small video camera that allows your surgeon to visualize the inside of your shoulder joint.
Shoulder Arthroscopy Surgery
Your orthopaedic surgeon begins by making small incisions in your shoulder (<1cm in length). The arthroscope is inserted in one incision. Very thin surgical tools are inserted through other small incisions to repair and/or remove damaged structures and harmful debris such as bone or cartilage chips.
The camera sends images to a video monitor stationed by the operating table which enables the surgeon to guide the camera and perform the surgery with the inserted surgical tools. Thanks to the magnified views from the video camera, your surgeon can inspect all the tissues of your shoulder including the cartilage, bones, tendons and ligaments. This inside view helps your surgeon identify any problem areas and allows for any repair/treatment needed. Compared to traditional open shoulder surgery, shoulder arthroscopy allows for the treatment of shoulder problems via a “minimally invasive technique” and produces comparable, if not better, results. Arthroscopic procedures will decrease the time you spend in the OR as well as the amount of anesthesia you receive, improve post-operative discomfort as well as speeding your recovery.
Major Advances in Shoulder Arthroscopy
Orthopaedic surgeons have been performing arthroscopic surgery on a wide spectrum of painful shoulder problems since the 1970s. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), shoulder arthroscopy has made diagnosis, treatment and recovery from surgery easier and faster than was once thought possible. Every year, new instruments and techniques are developed that fine-tune the surgery even more.
Common Shoulder Arthroscopy Procedures
Arthroscopy is used successfully by orthopaedic surgeons to inspect, diagnose and repair problems inside the joints in the body. In the shoulder, repairs include:
Most arthroscopic shoulder surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis and take less than an hour to complete. The length of your surgery will depend on what your diagnosis is as well as the true extent of your injury that is commonly determined during surgery and what repairs may be needed.
The multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic experts at North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedic Institute's Shoulder & Elbow Services in New York performs shoulder arthroscopy surgery as well as a broad range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments for conditions that affect the foot and ankle.
The Rehabilitation Network of the North Shore-LIJ Health System is dedicated to providing you and your family with result-oriented, comprehensive rehabilitation services. Our goal is to help you and your loved ones find relief from pain and get moving again after an accident, illness, injury or surgery. We’re your partner in a safe, healthy, more rapid recovery.