Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally-invasive approach to shoulder surgery that uses several very small incisions – typically less than two inches – to access the shoulder joint, rather than a single large incision used in traditional “open” surgical approaches. The technique uses an instrument called an arthroscope, which is a long, thin, flexible instrument with a tiny camera mounted on one end. The arthroscope is inserted through one incision and advanced to the joint where it takes a video of the inside of the joint, projecting images onto a monitor so they can be viewed by the surgeon. Other small incisions are used to enable special instruments to access the area and perform the surgical procedure.
Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is typically used to:
repair rotator cuff injuries
remove bone spurs or chips
repair the labrum (the cartilage ring surrounding the shoulder)
repair tendons and ligaments
diagnose the cause of recurrent dislocations
evaluate the joint to determine the cause of pain, limited range of motion, or other chronic or acute symptoms
As with other types of surgery – both minimally-invasive and open – arthroscopic shoulder surgery is usually performed once other, more conservative approaches have been tried and failed, including medication, steroid injections, and physical therapy.
Arthroscopic surgery is performed under anesthesia or sedation. The area will be cleansed and a solution will be injected into the joint to gently separate the structures and make them easier to see. Incisions are made near the shoulder joint and the arthroscope is inserted so the joint can be evaluated. Other incisions will be used to admit surgical instruments. Once the procedure is completed, the incisions will be closed with sutures or special bandages and you'll spend a few hours in recovery for observation.
Here is a short list of just some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
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