Arthroscopy offers outstanding treatment results for age-related wear-and-tear, overuse, or painful shoulder injuries that don’t respond to conservative therapies.
Dr. Sumit Dewanjee is an award-winning orthopedic surgeon in practice at FXRX Orthopaedics & Bracing in Tempe and Chandler, Arizona. Dr. Dewanjee and our team answer questions about shoulder arthroscopy and when we might recommend this minimally invasive procedure.
What is shoulder arthroscopy?
Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure Dr. Dewanjee may recommend to both accurately diagnose and at the same time treat painful shoulder conditions.
During the procedure, Dr. Dewanjee uses a small puncture-type incision to insert a high-definition camera that projects a view of the inner joint structure onto a nearby monitor.
Depending on the findings, he then makes additional small incisions to insert surgical instruments and make repairs within or around the joint.
The technique offers the same stellar results as traditional surgery for many common shoulder conditions. But arthroscopy spares you from the long incisions and additional tissue trauma required for open procedures.
This means you heal faster and reduce your risks of postsurgical infection, bleeding, and other complications.
What conditions can you treat with shoulder arthroscopy?
Dr. Dewanjee may recommend shoulder arthroscopy if conservative treatments such as physical therapy, activity modification, and medications have failed to relieve your shoulder symptoms.
Arthroscopy was first introduced in the 1970s and initially held primarily diagnostic value. But advances in technology and technique make modern arthroscopy a viable alternative to traditional surgery for numerous shoulder problems.
Conditions amenable to shoulder arthroscopy include:
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Labral tears
- Shoulder instability with increased risk of dislocation
- Shoulder impingement syndrome
- Degenerative changes linked to osteoarthritis
Dr. Dewanjee may also recommend minimally invasive arthroscopy for partial or total shoulder joint replacement.
What can I expect during and after shoulder arthroscopy?
Dr. Dewanjee discusses arthroscopy in detail before scheduling the procedure. Your course may vary depending on your overall health, the type of repair performed, and the extent of injury.
Generally, though, shoulder arthroscopy is an outpatient procedure that usually takes about an hour. But you can expect to remain at the surgery center or hospital for several hours following arthroscopy for monitoring as you recover from the anesthesia.
You must arrange for someone to drive you home following your release, and we recommend a friend or family member stay with you at least overnight to ensure your safety.
Although the benefits of arthroscopy include reduced incision size and generally faster recovery than traditional surgery, you can expect it to take several weeks for your cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and other shoulder joint components to heal completely.
Postsurgical physical therapy is a vital part of the healing process. Dr. Dewanjee encourages you to take full advantage of your customized rehabilitation program to restore pain-free shoulder mobility.
Don’t live with shoulder pain or instability. Schedule an evaluation at FXRX today by calling our office in Chandler or Tempe, Arizona, or requesting an appointment using our secure online service.