What is arthroscopy of the shoulder?
Arthroscopy is used to diagnose and repair joint injuries, which makes it ideal for shoulder surgeries. This minimally invasive surgery is an alternative to open surgery that requires large incisions. But what exactly is arthroscopy?
During arthroscopic surgery, your surgeon will begin the operation by making small 5 mm incisions in your shoulder joint. He will be able to see the internal structures of your shoulder on a monitor by inserting the arthroscope, which is a pencil camera with a light. He can use the monitor to guide the miniature surgical instruments and perform the operation. Most arthroscopic shoulder surgeries take about an hour to complete.
Why is arthroscopy preferred in shoulder surgeries?
Arthroscopy is preferred over traditional surgical methods because it is minimally invasive. The small incisions and precise surgical repairs result in less risk of infection, less bleeding, less pain, and a shorter recovery, so you can return to work and sports sooner than with traditional open surgery.
What are the top 5 shoulder surgeries that can be done using arthroscopy?
Rotator cuff tears are the most common shoulder injury, and serious tears require surgery. During surgery, your surgeon will reattach the torn tendons to the upper arm bone by suturing the tendon to the bone.
- Bankart Reconstruction
A Bankart lesion can cause shoulder instability due to a tear in the rim of the shoulder socket that allows the humeral head to shift. During Bankart reconstruction, your surgeon will tighten and reattach ligaments and the labrum by suturing and then sewing them to the bone.
Repetitive overhead motions, such as painting or throwing a baseball, can cause an area of the bone to impinge (i.e., rub against or pinch) the rotator cuff. Shaving off the bony prominence and debriding (i.e., removing) the inflamed bursa can reduce the pain and irritation caused by a shoulder impingement.
Shoulder arthritis is the degeneration or wearing down of the cartilage in the joints in your shoulder. Your surgeon can remove loose cartilage and bone to allow more room in your shoulder, so you experience less pain and irritation.
Your surgeon will attempt to reattach torn tissue and restore stability in your shoulder (like in Bankart reconstruction) using arthroscopy. If the tissue is not repairable, then your surgeon will transfer the biceps tendon from its normal labral attachment to the bone. This will relieve pain because the biceps will no longer pull on the damaged tissue.
What happens after arthroscopic surgery?
Your surgeon at ORTHOKnox will most likely use nerve blocks to provide pain relief. These injections are immediately effective and can “turn off” pain signals in your shoulder. They usually last 72 hours after surgery, and this disruption in the pain cycle causes the pain to be reduced when it returns after that time.
Depending on your surgery, you may need a sling for a few weeks. Physical therapy can help you improve your flexibility and strengthen your shoulder muscles. Athletes can expect to return to sports about 4–6 months after surgery in most cases.
How do I get treatment for a shoulder injury in Knoxville and Athens, TN?
ORTHOKnox offers both conservative treatments, including activity modification, rest, and physical therapy, and surgical treatments with arthroscopy or total shoulder replacement to restore functional movement of the shoulder. With its board-certified surgeon and Urgent Orthopaedic Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered. For more information about how ORTHOKnox can treat your shoulder injury using arthroscopy, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!