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Shoulder Arthroscopy: Minimally Invasive Surgery for Rotator Cuff Repair

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Chronic shoulder pain could be caused by injury or age, but can be treated with minimally invasive shoulder arthroscopy.

If you’re experiencing chronic shoulder pain or have been diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear, shoulder arthroscopy may be the solution you’re looking for. This minimally invasive surgical technique offers a less invasive alternative to traditional open surgery, leading to faster recovery and less scarring.

What Is Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Shoulder arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that allows surgeons to diagnose and treat various shoulder problems through small incisions (typically less than half an inch) using a tiny camera called an arthroscope. This camera is inserted into the shoulder joint, transmitting images to a video monitor in the operating room. The surgeon can then utilize specialized instruments through other small incisions to repair damaged tissues.

Rotator Cuff Tears: A Common Shoulder Problem

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, providing stability and allowing for a wide range of motion. Overuse, injury, or age-related wear and tear can lead to tears in the rotator cuff, causing pain, weakness, and limited mobility.

How Shoulder Arthroscopy Repairs Rotator Cuff Tears

  1. Diagnosis:The arthroscope allows the surgeon to visualize the rotator cuff and surrounding tissues in detail, confirming the diagnosis of a tear and assessing its severity.
  2. Preparation:Small incisions are made around the shoulder joint to insert the arthroscope and other surgical instruments.
  3. Repair:The surgeon uses specialized instruments to remove any damaged tissue, smooth rough edges, and reattach the torn tendon to the bone using suture anchors.
  4. Closure:The incisions are closed with stitches or surgical tape, and a bandage is applied.

Benefits of Shoulder Arthroscopy

  • Minimally Invasive:Smaller incisions result in less pain, scarring, and tissue damage compared to open surgery.
  • Faster Recovery:Most patients experience a faster recovery with arthroscopy, often returning to daily activities and work sooner.
  • Reduced Risk of Complications:The risk of infection and other complications is generally lower with arthroscopy.
  • Improved Visualization:The arthroscope provides a clear and magnified view of the shoulder joint, allowing for precise repair.
  • Outpatient Procedure:Many arthroscopic procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to return home the same day.

Recovery after Shoulder Arthroscopy

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Shoulder arthroscopy is minimally invasive, which means a shorter recovery time, allowing patients to get back to daily activities faster.

The recovery process after shoulder arthroscopy varies depending on the extent of the repair. Most patients experience some pain and discomfort, which can be managed with medications prescribed by the surgeon. Physical therapy plays a crucial role in regaining strength, range of motion, and function.

Who Is a Candidate for Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Shoulder arthroscopy is typically recommended for patients with:

  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder impingement syndrome
  • Labral tears
  • Shoulder instability
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Biceps tendon injuries
  • Arthritis (in some cases)

Your doctor will evaluate your specific condition and medical history to determine if shoulder arthroscopy is the right treatment option for you.

Choosing the Right Surgeon

Selecting an experienced orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder arthroscopy is essential for a successful outcome. Research potential surgeons, read reviews, and ask for referrals to find a qualified professional with a proven track record.

Preparing for Shoulder Arthroscopy

Before your surgery, your surgeon will provide detailed instructions on how to prepare.

This may include:

  • Preoperative tests (e.g., blood work, X-rays, MRI)
  • Adjusting medications
  • Quitting smoking (if applicable)
  • Fasting before the procedure

Postoperative Care

Following your surgeon’s postoperative instructions is crucial for a smooth recovery.

This may include:

  • Resting the shoulder
  • Taking pain medication as prescribed
  • Applying ice packs
  • Attending physical therapy sessions
  • Avoiding strenuous activities

How Can Houston Physicians’ Hospital Help?

At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand the debilitating impact of shoulder pain. Our skilled orthopedic surgeons specialize in shoulder arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure that can provide relief and restore your shoulder’s function.

If you suffer from chronic shoulder pain, you can visit our shoulder pain webpage to learn more about causes, symptoms, and possible treatments. Then scroll down to the bottom to find an orthopedic shoulder surgeon who’s right for you.

We also offer comprehensive joint pain treatments. If you’re struggling with neck pain, back pain, or hip joint pain, our Spine Solutions Center offers a range of treatments, including back surgery and hip replacement surgery and back pain treatments in Webster, TX. We are committed to utilizing the advanced techniques and technologies to help you regain your mobility and quality of life.