Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive orthopedic surgical technique employed by professionals to assess, diagnose, and address pathological conditions affecting a joint. Specifically, shoulder arthroscopy facilitates the optical examination, diagnostic assessment, and therapeutic intervention for various ailments affecting the structures within and surrounding the shoulder joint, particularly the rotator cuff. The arthroscopic approach utilizes slender surgical instruments, enabling the surgeon to make minute incisions, as opposed to the larger incisions necessitated by conventional open surgery. This method is applied in the management of prevalent shoulder disorders, including but not limited to bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis, rotator cuff tears, labral tears, and shoulder instability.

Shoulder Arthroscopy 

Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique employing an arthroscope, a miniature camera, for the examination and intervention in the tissues surrounding the shoulder joint. The arthroscope is introduced through a small incision in the skin.

The rotator cuff, comprising muscular and tendinous structures, envelops and stabilizes the shoulder joint, enabling diverse movements. Overutilization or trauma can result in tears in the tendons of the rotator cuff.

Administration of general or regional anesthesia renders the patient unconscious or pain-free during the procedure. The surgeon, throughout the operation:

  • Inserts the arthroscope through a small incision, connecting it to a video monitor in the operating room.

  • Examines all shoulder joint tissues, encompassing cartilage, bones, tendons, and ligaments.

  • Addresses damaged tissues through additional small incisions, utilizing various instruments for repair or removal of torn muscles, tendons, or cartilage.

Specific procedures conducted during the operation may include:

  • Rotator cuff repair:

    • Apposition of tendon edges and attachment to the bone using sutures.

    • Deployment of small rivets (suture anchors) to facilitate secure tendon-to-bone attachment, composed of metal, plastic, or suture material.

  • Surgery for impingement syndrome:

    • Debridement of damaged or inflamed tissue above the shoulder joint.

    • Potential cutting of the coracoacromial ligament.

    • Shaving of the underside of the acromion bone to address inflammation and pain caused by a bony spur.

  • Surgery for shoulder instability:

    • Repair of torn labrum, the cartilage lining the shoulder joint rim.

    • Reconstruction of ligaments attaching to the labral region.

    • Addressing Bankart lesions involving tears in the lower part of the shoulder joint's labrum, potentially affecting the glenoid bone.

Closure of incisions involves stitching and dressing application. Surgeons may opt for open surgery in cases of extensive damage, necessitating a larger incision to directly access bones and tissues.

When does Shoulder Arthroscopy Surgery Recommended at Link Hospital?

Shoulder arthroscopy is recommended by healthcare professionals when patients present with persistent, painful conditions unresponsive to conservative treatments. Non-surgical interventions encompass rest, physical therapy, and medications or injections aimed at mitigating inflammation and facilitating the healing of injured tissues. Inflammation, a normal bodily response to injury or disease, manifests in swelling, pain, and stiffness within the injured or diseased shoulder joint.

Predominantly stemming from injury, overuse, and age-related wear and tear, most shoulder problems can be addressed through shoulder arthroscopy. This surgical procedure is adept at alleviating painful symptoms associated with damage to the rotator cuff tendons, labrum, articular cartilage, and other soft tissues surrounding the joint.

Common arthroscopic interventions comprise:

  • Rotator cuff repair

  • Removal or repair of the labrum

  • Ligament repair

  • Removal of inflamed tissue or loose cartilage

  • Repair for recurrent shoulder dislocation, indicative of chronic shoulder instability

Additionally, less frequent procedures, including nerve release, fracture repair, and cyst excision, can be performed utilizing an arthroscope. It is noteworthy that certain surgical interventions, such as shoulder replacement, necessitate open surgery characterized by larger incisions.

Surgical Procedure

Positioning and Preparation

Upon entering the operating room, meticulous positioning is essential to optimize the visualization capabilities of the arthroscope within the shoulder. The two primary patient positions for arthroscopic shoulder surgery include the Beach chair position, resembling a semi-seated posture akin to sitting in a reclining chair, and the Lateral decubitus position, where the patient lies on their side on the operating table. The choice between these positions is guided by the specific surgical procedure and the surgeon's training preferences.

Once the patient is appropriately positioned, the surgical team undertakes the following preparatory steps:

  • Hair Removal: If required, any hair obstructing the surgical site is removed.

  • Antiseptic Application: An antiseptic solution is applied over the shoulder to cleanse the skin.

  • Sterile Draping: The shoulder and arm are covered with sterile drapes to maintain aseptic conditions.

  • Arm Immobilization: To ensure stability during the procedure, the forearm is often secured in a holding device.

Procedure Execution

The surgeon initiates the procedure by injecting fluid into the shoulder to distend the joint, facilitating enhanced visualization of shoulder structures through the arthroscope. Subsequently, a small puncture, approximately the size of a buttonhole, is made in the shoulder for arthroscope insertion. The arthroscope allows the controlled flow of fluid to maintain a clear view and manage any bleeding. Live images from the arthroscope are projected onto a video screen, affording the surgeon a detailed view of the shoulder's interior and any existing damage.

What happens during a Arthroscopy?

Shoulder arthroscopy, typically completed within an hour, involves the following steps:

  • Patient Positioning: The patient assumes a semi-seated position (beach chair position) or lies on their side.

  • Preoperative Preparation: The surgical team shaves any necessary hair and cleans the patient's skin using an antiseptic solution. Arm immobilization may be achieved through the use of a holding device.

  • Joint Distension: A healthcare provider administers a fluid injection into the shoulder to distend the joint, enhancing the surgeon's visibility.

  • Incision and Arthroscope Insertion: The surgeon creates a small hole, approximately buttonhole-sized, in the shoulder, through which a miniature camera (arthroscope) is inserted.

  • Imaging and Problem Identification: The arthroscope projects images of the shoulder onto a video screen, enabling the surgeon to identify and analyze the issue.

  • Additional Incisions and Instrumentation: The surgeon makes supplementary small incisions in the shoulder, inserting minute instruments to address the identified problem.

  • Closure: Upon completion of the surgery, the surgical team closes the incisions, utilizing stitches or small bandages, typically covered by a larger bandage for optimal protection.

Recovery Time after Shoulder Arthroscopy

The recovery period subsequent to shoulder arthroscopy spans weeks to months, encompassing the complete healing of the shoulder joint. During the initial weeks, patients commonly experience pain and swelling, mitigated through the application of ice and pain medication. Recommended postoperative practices involve adopting an elevated sleeping position in a chair or bed for several days. Surgeons may advise the utilization of a sling as a protective measure for the shoulder.

A tailored rehabilitation plan is integral to the recovery process, incorporating gentle exercises and physical therapy interventions. This regimen aims to enhance shoulder mobility and strength. Doctors at Link Hospital provides prescribe individualized rehabilitation plans based on the specifics of the undertaken shoulder surgery, ensuring a targeted approach to the patient's recovery.

Consult at Link Hospital Doctors for Shoulder Arthroscopy

Individuals seeking shoulder arthroscopy at Link Hospital are encouraged to consult with our medical experts to determine eligibility and suitability for the procedure. Not all shoulder injuries can be treated arthroscopically, and our experienced medical team conducts a thorough evaluation to recommend the most effective treatment approach based on individualized needs.

Link Hospital stands as a bestin technical expertise in Arthroscopic shoulder surgery represents a minimally invasive surgical intervention characterized by the repair of various shoulder damage types through small incisions. The recuperative trajectory following arthroscopic shoulder surgery generally exhibits swifter and more straightforward progression compared to recovery from open surgical procedures.

It is imperative to note that not all shoulder injuries lend themselves to arthroscopic treatment. Consultation with a professionals and experts is advised to ascertain the appropriateness of arthroscopy as an effective treatment modality for the specific shoulder injury in question.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Shoulder Arthroscopy Equivalent to Rotator Cuff Repair?

Rotator cuff repair is a specific type of surgical intervention that can be conducted through arthroscopy. However, it is essential to note that arthroscopic shoulder surgeries encompass various procedures, and not all are directly related to rotator cuff issues. In instances where the rotator cuff is severely damaged, open surgery may be necessitated for comprehensive repair.

Duration of Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

The time required for arthroscopic shoulder surgery is contingent upon the severity of the injuries. Generally, arthroscopic procedures are completed in less than one hour, ensuring a swift and focused surgical intervention.

How long does it take to recover after Arthroscopy Surgery?

The healing process post-arthroscopic shoulder surgery involves distinct phases. The incisions made during the surgical intervention typically exhibit rapid healing, with observable improvement within a few days to a week. During this initial period, patients can gradually resume many routine activities.

For Consultation from the Best Orthopaedician in India, Book an consultation at Link Hospital. 

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