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Shoulder Arthroscopy

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Shoulder arthroscopy is a procedure in which a camera is inserted in to the shoulder joint and specialized tools are utilized to correct/improve certain conditions. The surgeon will shave away torn cartilage or tissue to allow proper healing. For some conditions, tendons can be reattached to the bone using sutures. Benefits of arthroscopy include faster recovery and smaller incisions. You may need this procedure if you have a torn rotator cuff, a torn labrum, or a frozen shoulder. It is also occasionally used to treat impingement.

Recovery times are shorter than open-joint surgery, but rest and rehabilitation through light shoulder exercises are still an important part of regaining strength and returning to everyday activities. Some more serious tissue and muscle repairs will require a sling to take the weight of your arm off the shoulder joint while it heals.


Some common conditions treated with Shoulder Arthroscopy include:

  • Rotator Cuff Tears

Your Rotator Cuff is a thick tendon that is formed from 4 different muscles in the shoulder. These muscles act to help move the shoulder in different ways. When torn, these actions can be difficult or weak. A Rotator Cuff Tear rarely occurs from a single, sudden injury, but is more likely progressive over time. One of the main ways to correct this problem is with an arthroscopic surgery called a Rotator Cuff Repair where anchors and permanent sutures are used to hold the rotator cuff at its original insertion site.

Here is an example of a before and after picture of a rotator cuff repair.


  • Labral Tears

The labrum is a fibrous tissue that surrounds the shoulder socket. It helps deepen the socket to allow better stability in the shoulder joint, but still lets the shoulder to move in many different directions. Occasionally, tears of the labrum can require arthroscopic surgical fixation.

  • Impingement Syndrome

This is a common condition which can occur from repetitive use of the shoulder. Bone spurs can form at the AC (acromioclavicular) joint which can aggravate this condition. These spurs impinge on the bursa, causing it to become inflamed (bursitis), and on the rotator cuff. Usually, this condition can be treated without the need for surgical intervention. However, cases do occur that may require excision of the bone spurs performed through arthroscopic surgery.


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