An Overview of Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

Shoulder Surgery

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that treats injuries within your shoulder. It is the second most common orthopedic surgery after knee arthroscopy. Doctors also use the technique to diagnose shoulder issues. Your doctor can recommend shoulder arthroscopy if other non-surgical treatments like medication, rest, or physical therapy do not improve your shoulder pain. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery West Chester can treat various shoulder issues, including bone spurs, tendon injuries, frozen shoulders, labrum tears, and shoulder impingement. The treatment involves small incisions, minimal pain, risks, and a short recovery period.

How do you prepare for arthroscopic shoulder surgery?

Before the actual day of your arthroscopic surgery, your specialist will schedule an appointment to examine your overall health to ensure you are fit for the treatment. You may have to stop some medications like blood thinners several days before the surgery. Also, avoid smoking several days before the surgery, as it slows healing. Your doctor will tell you not to eat anything for about six to eight hours before your surgery.

What happens during arthroscopic shoulder surgery?

Depending on your injury, your specialist can administer local or general anesthesia. After your shoulder becomes numb, your surgeon will make a small incision about the size of a buttonhole in your shoulder to allow the passage of an arthroscope, a tiny camera. The camera projects images of your shoulder to a video screen, which helps the surgeon examine all your shoulder tissues to identify your issue.

If your surgeon detects any problem, the provider will make other small cuts in your shoulder to allow other surgical tools to through them. The surgeon fixes any damaged muscle, tendon, or cartilage or removes irritated tissue. If you have severe damage, your surgeon can recommend open surgery. After the repair, the surgeon closes the incisions, often with absorbable sutures or small bandages with a large dressing on top. Your specialist may recommend a sling to protect your shoulder.

What happens after arthroscopic shoulder surgery?

After shoulder arthroscopy, you will require approximately one or two hours to recover in your medical facility. In most cases, shoulder arthroscopy is an outpatient procedure, so you go home the same day after treatment. Ensure you have someone to drive you home. You may experience pain and swelling for a few weeks after the surgery, but your doctor will prescribe medications to manage these effects. Cold compressors can also help relieve pain and swelling. Your doctor can recommend gentle exercises and physical therapy to increase shoulder movement and strength after several weeks.

What are the possible risks or complications after arthroscopic shoulder surgery?

Although rare, shoulder arthroscopy has various risks, including blood clots, infection, and excessive bleeding or swelling. You can also experience blood vessels or nerve damage. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience fever, pain that does not ease with medications, tingling, numbness, increased swelling, or discolored or smelly fluid around the wound.

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that doctors use to diagnose and treat shoulder injuries. It involves small incisions, hence fewer risks and pain and a short recovery period. Schedule your appointment with your Beacon Orthopedics & Sports Medicine provider for arthroscopic shoulder surgery to relieve your shoulder pain.

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Sher Ali is the Editor in Chief and a writer at He has been writing for the blog since its inception in 2017. Sher Ali has a passion for writing about Business, Technology, and personal development. He also helps people achieve their goals. Email:

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