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Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a procedure done by orthopedic surgeon to visualise, diagnose and repair problems in the shoulder joints. This surgery is performed using a small camera called an arthroscope. The Arthroscope contains a light source and magnifying lenses to capture the images of the joints. The camera is inserted through small incisions of the skin.

Who Should Undergo Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Shoulder arthroscopy is performed for patients whose shoulder problems are not responding to non-surgical procedures such as medication, therapy, rest and injections. This surgery is usually performed to treat various shoulder problems such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder Instability
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Damaged cartilage
  • Bone dislocation

Though you are suffering from any of the above-mentioned conditions or any shoulder injury, always consult a doctor to discuss the treatment methods for your condition.

How to Prepare for the Shoulder Arthroscopy?

To ensure the best surgery results, you should ensure that your body is in shape for the surgery. When you decide to undergo shoulder arthroscopy surgery, you should inform the doctor about the medicines that you are using. You may be asked to stop the use of certain medicines such as blood thinners before two weeks of the procedure.

You should also ensure that health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are under control. You also need to stop smoking as it can slow the healing process. You should also need to stop eating food from midnight before the day of the surgery.

You should use this time to get an idea about the surgery process and should prepare for the recovery as well.

What Happens During the Surgery?

The surgery usually takes less than one hour. On the day of the surgery, you will be sent to an operation room. The doctor will position you in the beach chair position which is comfortable for your surgeon to perform the surgery. Anaesthesia will be given by the surgeon.

The surgical team will spread the antiseptic solution on your shoulder to clean it. Your surgeon injects sterile fluid into the shoulder so that the shoulder structure will be clearly visible. He then makes small incisions to insert the arthroscope and other macro instruments. The images from the arthroscope will be projected on a monitor so that the surgeon can identify any damage or problems.

Once the problem is identified, the doctor inserts the required instruments through other incisions and treats it. The surgeon closes the incisions with stitches and covers them with a soft and large bandage.


You will be discharged from the hospital on the same of the surgery based on your condition. You need to take proper rest to recover from the surgery. Your doctor will prescribe medications and ice packs to reduce pain and swelling. The surgical area should be kept clean and dry and you need to change the dressing on regular basis. You need to perform a few exercises after a week of surgery to strengthen the shoulder.

The recovery will be different as patients have varied health conditions. It usually takes from a few weeks to months to completely recover from the surgery.