Arthroscopy, the minimally invasive surgery for shoulder injuries

What is shoulder arthroscopy?

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique that allows us to see directly inside the joint, without the need to open it, thanks to a small camera.

In which cases is it used?

Shoulder arthroscopy is used today to diagnose and treat a large number of problems affecting the shoulder joint. The most common are:

– Rotator cuff problems: tears, calcifications or inflammation.

– Instability: recurrent shoulder dislocation, micro-instability, etc.

– Pain: subacromial impingement, biceps tendinopathies or free bodies.

What are the advantages?

Compared to open surgery, arthroscopic surgery produces less postoperative pain and stiffness. The hospital stay is shorter, since it is a minimal approach, the recovery is faster and with fewer complications.

How is it performed?

To perform the procedure, small incisions are made around the shoulder. A small camera called an arthroscope and the instruments necessary for diagnosis and treatment of the corresponding pathology are introduced into these incisions. It is usually performed under combined loco-regional and general anesthesia to control postoperative pain. The hospital discharge can be the same day or the following day depending on each case.

Is it a complicated procedure?

In recent years arthroscopy has undergone a great development and because of its technical complexity it has become a surgery that requires significant qualification and experience. In expert surgeons complications are not common and do not reach 1%.

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Can the patient live a normal life after the procedure or does he/she require rest?

In most procedures the patient will have to wear the arm in a sling for a variable time depending on the surgery performed. He/she will be able to wash daily and will be instructed to perform daily exercises at home until the beginning of rehabilitation.