An arthroscope is a special device that allows surgeons to look inside a joint using a ‘key-hole’ technique. Shoulder arthroscopy is done as a day case procedure; benefits include smaller incisions and a faster recovery compared to traditional ‘open surgery’.
Shoulder arthroscopy is a technique that may be used for a number of shoulder problems. These include:
Rotator cuff tears
The surgeon makes small (0.5cm) incisions (portals) around the shoulder. Sterile saline solution is pumped into and through the joint. This expands the shoulder joint to allow the surgeon access and space to visualise and perform the surgery.
The arthroscope is inserted through one of the portals to view the joint; it is attached to a light source and camera. Images are displayed on a television screen in the operating theatre. The other incisions can be used to insert surgical instruments, allowing the surgeon to perform the necessary procedure. Photos can be taken during shoulder arthroscopy and printed out for your records.
Following shoulder arthroscopy pain medications may be given and a bandage will be applied over the operated on shoulder. This can be removed at 24-48 hours and there will be waterproof dressings underneath. Slight swelling is normal and ice packs applied to the shoulder for 20 minutes 3-4 times a day will help
Surrey Orthopaedic Clinic
Shoulder Arthroscopy Specialists: