Shoulder Arthroscopy: Everything You Need to Know

Gone are the days when orthopedic surgeons do open surgeries as the only option to fix minor damages in the shoulder’s rotator cuff. With shoulder arthroscopic surgery in the Spring Hill area, including Brooksville we can now safely, easily, and effectively repair shoulder ailments with only a tiny incision to work on.

 

What Is Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Shoulder arthroscopy refers to a minimally invasive procedure used to examine, diagnose, and treat joint pains, dysfunction, and other types of shoulder damage. It is a well-established treatment option that uses a tiny, flexible camera called an arthroscope to inspect the shoulder joint.

During an arthroscopic procedure, the surgeon will cut two to four tiny incisions in the skin of the shoulder region, which will serve as the entryway of the arthroscope. This will allow your doctor to assess the joint condition, then treat or repair it using small medical instruments and implants.

Arthroscopic shoulder surgeries have revolutionized the healthcare system since the 1970s. 

Today, with over 1.77 million arthroscopic procedures yearly, it continues to improve overall patient health through speedy recovery and enhanced long-term results.

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Who Needs Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Orthopedic surgeons only recommend shoulder arthroscopy to patients with shoulder problems that are not responding to non-invasive treatments. 

This means that if rest, pain medications, anti-inflammatory injectables, and physical therapy can’t alleviate your symptoms, then it’s time to perform an arthroscopic procedure. 

Furthermore, most shoulder problems are caused by age-related wear and tear, overuse, and injury in the musculoskeletal system.

Some specific examples include:

  • Rotator cuff tear, which affects about 32% of the general population.
  • Dislocated shoulder, which has an incidence rate of 23.9 out of 100,000 person-years. 
  • Shoulder bursitis
  • Shoulder instability or labral tear
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Biceps tendonitis
  • Tear or inflammation in ligaments
  • Acromioclavicular (AC) arthritis

Physicians will perform screening and diagnostic tests (e.g., MRI, X-ray) to confirm what condition you may have and how to repair it.

 

How to Prepare for Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Although minimally invasive, arthroscopic shoulder surgeries in Spring Hill & Brooksville may require patients to render minimal movements to facilitate healing. So as preparation, you should lessen your activities during the week or have a loved one accompany you in your home until you can function normally again. 

Additionally, patients are advised not to eat nor drink anything after midnight of the scheduled surgery. Also, bring a cotton button-down shirt or polo so you won’t have any problems getting dressed once you’re done.

 

How Is Shoulder Arthroscopy Performed?

Prior to the procedure, you will likely get to discuss your anesthesia options with our doctor since shoulder arthroscopy involves two kinds: 

  • General anesthesia – used for longer surgeries as it puts the whole body to sleep and saves it from pain sensations. 
  • Regional block – this only numbs the affected body region to be operated on, so the patient will remain awake but won’t feel any pain during the procedure.

Once you’re given the proper anesthesia, the surgeon will begin to repair and treat your shoulder problem. Here’s a play-by-play on how it will go down in the operating room:

  • First, the surgeon will create a small incision into the shoulder (approximately ½ an inch) wherein a blunt cannula will be inserted. This cannula will serve as the entry point of the arthroscope and the water supply source so surgeons can easily and visibly access the area.
  • The arthroscope will be inserted into the cannula to see an enlarged image of the affected area in the monitor. This allows the surgeon to make their initial evaluation of the affected area.
  • Next, another two to three incisions will be made, which will serve as the entryway of other small instruments used in the procedure.
  • Repairs may include removing damaged tissues, drilling screws in the bone, and suturing the muscles.
  • Once done, instruments will be removed, and incisions are closed using sutures or staples then covered with a dressing.

The actual procedure may take at least 1 to 2 ½ hours, but the time can be doubled up by the processes involved in the pre and post-operative part (e.g., anesthesia injection, recovery).

 

What to Expect After Shoulder Arthroscopic Surgery in Spring Hill?

After the surgery, you will be placed in a recovery room where a healthcare provider will monitor your condition. You can go home once the effects of the anesthesia subside.

Some post-operative care techniques that you might be advised to do at home include:

  • Pain management instructions to help control the pain while you heal. Doctors may sometimes prescribe analgesics, NSAIDs or opioid medications.
  • A 10 to 20- minute cold pack application to the shoulder may also help reduce pain and swelling. You can do this every one to two hours during the first few days.
  • Postoperative care instructions, such as changing the bandage or the dos and don’ts for patients in a sling. 
  • Rehabilitation or physical therapy recommendation for complex arthroscopic surgeries.

In addition, physicians will advise patients to have plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids to maintain physical health while speeding up the recovery process.

Patients may experience slight discomfort to mild pain during the first few weeks of the operation. But with proper care and management (if needed), full recovery is guaranteed.

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FAQs About Shoulder Arthroscopy

How Long Is Recovery From Shoulder Arthroscopy?

The recovery time after a shoulder arthroscopy depends on the type of surgery done to the shoulder joints and muscles. But generally, research revealed that the majority of the patients take at least six weeks before they can fully use their shoulder with little to no discomfort.

 

Is Shoulder Arthroscopy Major Surgery?

Generally, major surgeries involve open complex resection operations or open procedures wherein body cavities are exposed, such as opening a whole cavity or removing an organ. However, since shoulder arthroscopy involves no such procedure and only utilizes small incisions, it cannot be considered a major surgical operation.

 

What Can You Not Do After Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Typically, doctors will advise recovering patients to limit shoulder stress during the first few weeks of surgery, especially if you are in a sling. This means no pulling, pushing, reaching, lifting, or other activities involving exerting effort to your healing shoulder. You can, however, straighten or bend your elbow or move your fingers to exercise the muscles.

Another major no-no is dipping or submerging your shoulder in a tub or pool, which will impede wound healing and expose it to dirt and other contaminants.

Once you are fully recovered, you can go back to your usual activities while staying vigilant to avoid re-injuring your shoulder.

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Where to Get Shoulder Arthroscopy in the Spring Hill area or Brooksville?

If you are looking to get shoulder arthroscopy in the Brooksville or Spring Hill area, don’t hesitate to visit us at Tarabishy Orthopedics. Dr. Tarabishy has been practicing for over 30 years and is known as a top specialist in the area. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, he is fully trained, certified, and equipped to perform arthroscopic surgeries.

We also offer: 

Our orthopedic doctor performs shoulder arthroscopy surgery in Brooksville, we are thrilled to see all patients from Spring Hill, Week Wachee and the surrounding areas and offer the highest quality treatment solutions.

Contact us today to learn more about our procedure or schedule an appointment for consultation. You may also reach us by calling 352-596-8558.

 

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.