A shoulder arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that is used to repair a damaged shoulder joint. During the surgery, a tiny camera known as the “arthroscope” is inserted into the shoulder. This is done after small incisions are made, keeping the surgical site intact. Once the camera is inserted, there are other surgical instruments used to access the area that needs to be repaired. To learn more about this surgery, make sure to continue reading this article.
What is the Purpose of a Shoulder Arthroscopy?
The main purpose of a shoulder arthroscopy is to relieve painful symptoms that may arise in the shoulder, resulting from an injury, dislocation, or common wear and tear. Whether it’s the rotator cuff that’s damaged or the tissues and cartilage around the joint, arthroscopic surgery can fix it all.
Moreover, due to the camera, or arthroscope, the surgeon gets real-time images of the injury. This allows them to closely monitor and study the joint, which in return helps them treat it properly. Additionally, the best part about a shoulder arthroscopy is that the surgeon can repair or remove damaged tissues during the same procedure. This promotes faster recovery and reduced postoperative pain compared to traditional open surgeries.
What Happens During a Shoulder Arthroscopic Surgery
There is a lot that happens at a shoulder arthroscopy, but the ultimate procedure depends on the injury and its complications. Typically, however, shoulder arthroscopy is broken down into the following steps:
- An anchor with two parts of sutures is placed on the inner part of the tendon.
- The sutures pass through the tendons, working from the front of the shoulder to the back.
- The surgeon ties down the second and third sutures, securing the inner part of the tendon.
- The two sutures in the back are then passed through a second anchor that is placed in the outer part of the tendon.
- Lastly, the surgeon fastens the first and second sutures to a third anchor, which is directly placed on the outer part of the bone, resecuring the tendon.
- Once done, the camera and all surgical instruments are carefully removed, allowing the patient to heal faster.
Signs You Need Shoulder Arthroscopy Surgery
You might be dealing with a rotator cuff injury, a torn ligament, dislocated shoulder, or inflamed tissue in the shoulder joint if you experience either of the following symptoms:
- Intense shoulder pain.
- Inability to sleep or rest due to the pain.
- Throbbing pain despite lack of physical activity.
- Weakness in the arm.
- Lifting and or movie the arm seems impossible.
In such cases, the doctor might first try other nonsurgical means of treatment, like medications or physical therapy. However, if the pain persists and doesn’t go away, a shoulder arthroscopy might be needed.