Shoulder arthroscopy is performed by using a tiny camera attached to a thin tube called an arthroscope to examine or repair the tissues inside or around your shoulder joint. The arthroscope is inserted through a small incision (about 1 centimeter) in your skin. Through other small incisions, small specialized instruments are inserted to repair the tissues.
It is a commonly done procedure with excellent results in terms of pain, wound healing and early rehabilitation. While there are a large number of indications to perform arthroscopic shoulder surgery, a few common ones are enumerated below
- Recurrent shoulder dislocation
- SLAP tears (superior labral tears)
- Rotator cuff tears
- Stiff or “frozen” shoulder
- Synovitis e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, infections etc
- Impingement syndrome
- Biceps tendonitis
- Acromioclavicular joint arthritis
- Pre Surgery
Being a day care surgery, the pre operative assessment is done prior to admission. Pre operative work up starts with a Consultation with the Orthopaedic Surgeon which lasts for about 30 minutes. It includes a detailed history, general physical examination, shoulder joint examination, x rays, MRI, blood investigations, ECG, Echo(if required) and patient counseling. You will additionally have to meet the Anaesthetist too. Once you are fit for surgery, you will be admitted for undergoing the procedure.
It is a usually a day care procedure done under general anaesthesia in beach chair position. The procedure consists of making tiny incisions into the joint. After the diagnosis is confirmed by arthroscopic inspection, various instruments are inserted through the same incisions or separate ones. These instruments perform various functions like knot typing, grasping, cutting, suture passing etc. The ligaments and bones are thoroughly assessed and repaired as required. Wounds are closed with a single stitch.
After the surgery, the wound is covered with a small dressing and bandage. You are usually discharged in the evening. Exercises help the shoulder in getting strong and improve the ability of motion. The doctor and the physiotherapist will suggest the necessary exercises as per the condition treated. The complete recovery is dependent upon the treated disease condition.