Shoulder Scope for Shoulder Instability

Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery for Shoulder Instability

Shoulder Arthroscopy may be recommended for shoulder instability, in which the shoulder joint is loose. The ball of the shoulder may slide our partially (subluxate) or fully (dislocate) from the socket. Instability can be from an injury which tears the soft tissue part of the socket (labrum) or from looseness of the joint capsule.

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a procedure that uses a special camera called an arthroscope to examine or repair the tissues inside or around your shoulder joint. The arthroscope is inserted through a small cut in your skin.

THE PROCEDURE: You will receive a block and general anesthesia before the surgery. This means you will be asleep and unable to feel the pain. During the procedure, the surgeon:

  • Inserts the arthroscope into your shoulder through a small cut. The scope is connected to a video monitor in the operating room.
  • Inspects all the tissues of your shoulder joint. These tissues include the cartilage, bones, tendons, and ligaments.
  • If you have a torn labrum, your surgeon will smooth it and/or repair it back to the bony socket. Ligaments that attach to the area will also be repaired and sometimes a tuck sewn in the capsule to tighten it.
  • Smooth the cartilage in the damaged area of the joint.

The recovery time of arthroscopic shoulder surgery will vary depending on the severity of your original condition. If the labrum required repair, the shoulder must be kept in a neutral position with a brace for up to 6 weeks. Once the tissues have healed, rehabilitation is required to regain strength and motion in the shoulder. Return to contact sports usually takes 3-4 months.

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