Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery – A Minimally Invasive Treatment Option for Rotator Cuff Tears & Other Conditions
Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive procedure performed through very small incisions, which can minimize trauma to surrounding tissues. Using a tiny fiber-optic camera mounted on a thin, flexible tube (arthroscope), a surgeon is able to view and access the interior of the shoulder joint while operating. This can potentially eliminate the need for highly invasive open surgery while allowing for enhanced precision in treating a variety of shoulder conditions.
Which shoulder conditions can be treated arthroscopically?
Arthroscopic shoulder surgery can be used to treat:
- A damaged, degenerated, or torn rotator cuff
- Frozen shoulder
- Shoulder instability
- Recurrent shoulder joint dislocations
- A torn or damaged shoulder cartilage ring (labrum) or ligament
- Shoulder impingement syndrome
- A bone spur around the rotator cuff
- An inflamed bursa
- An inflamed or damaged shoulder joint lining caused by rheumatoid arthritis
- Loose cartilage or bone debris floating in the joint
- A torn biceps tendon
When is arthroscopic shoulder surgery appropriate?
For many orthopedic shoulder conditions, nonsurgical management is still the preferred treatment approach. However, surgery may be appropriate to address shoulder pain and other symptoms that do not respond well to conservative therapies, such as rest, activity modifications, exercise, medications, and injections. In these cases, it’s important to consult with an experienced orthopedic surgeon who can provide personalized advice on selecting a surgical approach.
Although arthroscopy is less invasive than open surgery, a full recovery can take several months. In the meantime, pain and swelling can usually be managed with ice applications and medications. To promote healing, a sling can be worn to reduce movement and protect the shoulder joint, and physical therapy can be performed to stretch, strengthen, and recondition the shoulder joint.
If you’re in the Lafayette, LA, area and you believe you could benefit from arthroscopic shoulder surgery, you are welcome to discuss your options with board-certified orthopedic surgeon Peter D. Vizzi, M.D.