Arthroscopy is recommended for shoulder problems, like:
- Evaluation and treatment of instability
- A torn or damaged cartilage ring (labrum) or ligaments(shoulder instability)
- A damaged biceps tendon
- A torn rotator cuff
- A bone spur or inflammation around the rotator cuff
- Stiffness of the shoulder
- Shoulder Arthritis
- Subacromial decompression
- Arthritis of the end of the clavicle (acromioclavicular joint)
- Treatment of calcific tendinitis
- Treatment of frozen shoulder
- Removal of loose bodies
- Debridement/drainage of shoulder joint infection
What is Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which an arthroscope is inserted into a joint
What are the benefits?
The benefits of arthroscopy involve smaller incisions, faster healing, a more rapid recovery and less scaring. Arthroscopic surgical procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis and the patient is able to return home the same day. Arthroscopy is performed in a hospital operating room under general anesthetic or Local Block. The arthroscope is a small fiber optic instrument made up of tiny lens, light source, and video camera. The surgical instruments used are very small (only 3 or 4 mm in diameter), but appear much larger when viewed through arthroscope. The television camera attached to the arthroscope displays the image of the joint, on a television screen, allowing the surgeon to look throughout the shoulder-at cartilage, ligaments, and the rotator cuff. The surgeon can determine the amount or type of injury, and then repair or correct the problem, if it is necessary.
Shoulder Arthroscopy Procedure:
The surgeon makes 2 small incisions (about ¼ of an inch), around the joint area. Each incision is called a portal. These incisions result in very small scars, which in many cases are unnoticeable. In one portal, the arthroscope is inserted to view the shoulder joint. Along with the arthroscope; sterile solution is pumped to the joint which expands the shoulder joint, giving the surgeon a clear view and room work. With the images from the arthroscope as a guide, the surgeon can look for any pathology or anomaly. The large image on the television screen allows the surgeon to see the joint directly and to determine the extent of the injuries, and then perform the particular surgical procedure, if necessary. The other portal is used for the insertion of surgical instruments.
A surgical instrument is used to probe various parts within the joint to determine the extent of the problem. If the surgeon sees an opportunity to treat a problem, a variety of surgical instruments can be inserted through the portal. After treating the problem, the portals (incisions) are closed by suturing or by tape. Arthroscopy is much less traumatic to the muscles, ligaments and tissues than the traditional method of surgically opening the shoulder with long incisions (open techniques).
Why is arthroscopy necessary?
Certain conditions of shoulder which cannot be cured by medications and therapy require Arthroscopic surgery.
What are the joints that can be viewed with an arthroscope?
Arthroscopy has become highly advanced traditionally the knee, shoulder, ankle and hip joint conditions could be treated with Arthroscopy surgery. Presently even the problems of wrist and finger joints and toe joints can be treated.
What are the conditions that can be treated by arthroscopy?
Shoulder instability / Recurrent dislocations, impingement syndrome, rotator cuff tears, Frozen shoulders, Synovitis, Arthritis of shoulder.
What are the possible complications?
Infections, pain, injury to surrounding nerves and blood vessels, Post surgery stiffness.
Recovery after arthroscopy.
Patients can go home the same day depending on their condition. They may require pain medications for a few days. In some cases, they can start using the hand in a few days, while in some other cases they may take even a year for full recovery. They can take bath within a few days after surgery. Driving, using computers, writing and playing sports will depend on each individual case and the disease.