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Shoulder Arthroscopy Surgery

Shoulder Arthroscopy is a procedure that orthopaedic surgeons use to inspect, diagnose, and repair problems inside a joint. Very small incisions (cuts),are made rather than the larger incision needed for open surgery. This results in less pain for patients, and shortens the time it takes to recover and return to their favorite activities.




Your shoulder is a complex joint that is capable of more motion than any other joint in your body. It is made up of three bones: your upper arm bone (humerus), your shoulder blade (scapula), and your collarbone (clavicle).


Normal anatomy of the shoulder


Ball and socket. The head of your upper arm bone fits into a rounded socket in your shoulder blade. This socket is called the glenoid. A slippery tissue called articular cartilage covers the surface of the ball and the socket. It creates a smooth, frictionless surface that helps the bones glide easily across each other.


The glenoid is ringed by strong fibrous cartilage called the labrum. The labrum forms a gasket around the socket, adds stability, and cushions the joint.


Shoulder capsule. The joint is surrounded by bands of tissue called ligaments. They form a capsule that holds the joint together. The undersurface of the capsule is lined by a thin membrane called the synovium. It produces synovial fluid that lubricates the shoulder joint.


Rotator cuff. Four tendons surround the shoulder capsule and help keep your arm bone centered in your shoulder socket. This thick tendon material is called the rotator cuff. The cuff covers the head of the humerus and attaches it to your shoulder blade.


When Shoulder Arthroscopy Is Recommended?

Your surgeon at A+OSM may recommend shoulder arthroscopy if you have a painful condition that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment. Nonsurgical treatment includes rest, physical therapy, and medications or injections that can reduce inflammation.


Injury, overuse, and age-related wear and tear are responsible for most shoulder problems. Shoulder arthroscopy may relieve painful symptoms of many problems that damage the rotator cuff tendons, labrum, articular cartilage, and other soft tissues surrounding the joint.


Common arthroscopic procedures include:

  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Bankart/ instabilty repair
  • Labral repair
  • Bone spur removal
  • Removal or repair of the labrum
  • Repair of ligaments
  • Removal of inflamed tissue or loose cartilage
  • Repair for recurrent shoulder dislocation








After surgery, you will stay in the recovery room for 1 to 2 hours before being discharged home. Your arm will be in a sling. The shoulder may be a little painful. You will be given injection or tablet to control the pain, if pain is still worse then pain management team will give you a PCA Pump. You will most likely need a sling or special immobilizer to protect your shoulder. Surgeon will discuss with you how long the sling will be needed.


You will need someone to drive you home.


At Home


Although recovery from arthroscopy is often faster than recovery from open surgery, it may still take weeks for your shoulder joint to completely recover.


You can expect some pain and discomfort for at least a week after surgery. If you have had a more extensive surgery, however, it may take several weeks before your pain subsides. Ice will help relieve pain and swelling. Your doctor may prescribe pain medicine, if needed.


Many types of pain medication are available to help control pain, including opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and local anesthetics. Treating pain with medications can help you feel more comfortable, which will help your body heal faster and recover from surgery faster.


Lying flat may pull on your shoulder and cause discomfort. Some patients are more comfortable sleeping in a reclining chair or propped up in bed during the first days after surgery.


A change of dressing will be done after 48 hours and 14 days after the operation stiches will be removed. You may shower but try not to soak or scrub your incisions.




Rehabilitation plays an important role in getting you back to your daily activities. An exercise program will help you regain shoulder strength and motion. Your surgeon and the physio team at A+OSM will develop a rehabilitation plan based on the surgical procedures.


It is important that you make a strong effort at rehabilitation in order for your surgery to succeed.