What is arthroscopic surgery & who is a candidate?

Understanding Arthroscopic Shoulder SurgeryArthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, arthroscopic surgery became popular, especially in the sports world, as fibre-optic technology enabled surgeons to see inside the body using a small telescope, called an "arthroscope", which projects an image to a television screen. Thanks to ongoing improvements made by technology leaders like Smith & Nephew, arthroscopic surgery is now accessible to more people than just professional athletes. Active patients all over the world have experienced the benefits of minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Through an incision the width of a "drinking" straw tip, your surgeon is able to insert a scope, which allows him or her to inspect your joint and locate the source of your pain. The arthroscope can also help identify tears or other damage that may have been missed by an X-ray or MRI. Your surgeon will then make one or more small incisions to accommodate the instruments used to repair the shoulder. These instruments can shave, trim, cut, stitch, or smooth the damaged areas.

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is often performed in an outpatient hospital or clinic, which means, generally no overnight hospital stay is required. You report to the hospital or clinic in the morning, undergo the procedure, and - following a recovery period under the care of medical professionals - return home later in the day.  

Who is a Candidate for Arthroscopic Surgery? 

Patients with shoulder pain or limited shoulder function may be candidates for arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Most people who suffer from a shoulder injury or who have not found the relief they need through non-operative treatments may benefit from a minimally invasive surgical procedure.

The information on this website will help you better understand the anatomy and function of the shoulder, as well as the effects on the shoulder of a rotator cuff tear or the condition known as "shoulder instability". In addition, it will guide you through the steps of arthroscopic shoulder surgery for the treatment of these conditions.