Shoulder arthroscopy is a technique where many different shoulder pathologies can be addressed and fixed through small incisions about the shoulder. Typically three or four small incisions less than half an inch in size are used to introduce a camera into the joint. Specialized instrumentation can then be introduced to fix tendon or ligament tears, labral tears, remove bone spurs, correct shoulder instability, and remove loose bodies or scar tissue.
Although there are many conservative treatments that may be employed prior to undergoing shoulder arthroscopy, the indications for such treatment have broadened as technology continues to improve. It is advantageous to use a surgeon proficient with this technology as the incisions are smaller, muscle damage is minimized, and recovery may be faster.
All surgeries require careful planning. This begins from the moment a patient is seen in consultation. There are many health factors that are taken into consideration before surgery in order to minimize the chance of complications and improve outcomes. There are often medical conditions that require further treatment by an internist or specialist prior to surgery. We believe that a comprehensive approach to patient care is the best way to achieve a healthy and functional recovery.
The surgeons at Florida Joint Care Institute use cutting edge digital X-rays and will review further imaging such as an MRI in order to effectively plan each surgery. Careful planning ensures that all shoulder problems may be appropriately addressed at the time of surgery.
Although the surgery is performed through small incisions, the recovery varies depending upon the magnitude of repair within the shoulder. A sling may be required for two to six weeks after surgery, and physical therapy is essential to ensure maximum recovery of motion and strength. The majority of mobility and function is restored within the first three to four months after surgery and endurance continues to improve as activities are resumed.
Although shoulder arthroscopy technology has been refined over several decades, and outcomes are better than ever, there are unique risks inherent to the operation. With careful planning these risks are minimized but it is important to have this discussion with your surgeon prior to the operation to be appropriately informed. By understanding these risks and expectations of benefits, our patients are able to achieve the best outcomes possible.