What type of shoulder surgery is arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is minimally invasive surgery (MIS) to examine and repair problems inside the shoulder joint. Your surgeon guides a narrow arthroscope through a tiny incision and into the joint.
A camera in the scope sends high-definition images to a monitor. Your surgeon views the images to diagnose the cause of your pain. They insert narrow surgical instruments through another small incision to repair the problem.
The North Valley Orthopedic Institute team often performs arthroscopy to:
- Repair a torn rotator cuff
- Remove or repair the labrum (a ring of cartilage around the joint)
- Repair or reconstruct ligaments
- Remove inflamed and damaged tissues
- Treat recurrent shoulder dislocations
- Repair broken bones
Some shoulder replacement surgeries can be done using arthroscopy.
When would I need rotator cuff surgery?
Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that hold the arm in the joint and support arm movement. Rotator cuff injuries are common and most often occur when a tendon is stretched or torn. This damage is painful, limits your arm movement, and can lead to long-term shoulder weakness.
You may need surgery to repair a rotator cuff injury when:
- The pain continues after nonsurgical treatment
- You have ongoing arm weakness and limited movement
- You have a large or complete tear
- You want to return to athletic or work-related activities
A tendon tear won’t regain its full strength without surgery. You’ll need rotator cuff surgery to return to strenuous overhead activities, such as baseball, tennis, swimming, football, painting, and construction.
Why would I need shoulder replacement surgery?
You may need to replace the shoulder joint after a severe fracture or if you have osteonecrosis, a condition that occurs when blood loss leads to bone death.
However, advanced arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, is the most common reason people need a shoulder replacement. Osteoarthritis occurs as repeated joint movement wears down the cartilage covering the ends of bones. This cartilage is essential because it cushions the bone, allowing them to glide smoothly inside the joint.
As more cartilage breaks down, the bones become exposed and grate together, leading to extensive joint damage and debilitating pain and stiffness. At that stage, replacing the joint is the only way to relieve your symptoms and restore mobility.
To learn more about shoulder surgery, call North Valley Orthopedic Institute or connect online to request a consultation.