This minimally-invasive procedure is used to remove tissue in the shoulder joint that has been damaged from arthritis, overuse or injury. The physician uses a small camera, called an arthroscope, which is inserted into the shoulder joint.
The patient is positioned so that the shoulder is clearly visible to the surgeon, and the area is cleaned and sterilized. Local anesthesia is administered to numb the injection site and a sedative is provided to relax the patient. General anesthesia may sometimes be used.
Accessing the Shoulder
The surgeon creates a series of small incisions around the shoulder and inserts an arthroscopic camera and other tools. The camera allows the surgeon to view the procedure on a monitor.
Examining the Joint
The surgeon injects fluid into the space around the shoulder socket to expand the joint and provide a clear view. The surgeon carefully examines the joint to look for signs of damage.
Repairing the Damage
Once the shoulder has been diagnosed, the physician may use one or more of the arthroscopic tools to repair any damage. Bone spurs may be filed down, and loose or damaged cartilage may be removed.
End of Procedure
The incisions are closed with sutures or surgical staples. The shoulder is bandaged. The patient will be given pain relievers and should be able to leave the hospital within a day.