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Shoulder arthroscopy is often used to visualize, diagnose, and treat various problems inside the shoulder joint and in the space surrounding the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff comprises a group of muscles and their tendons that form a cuff over the shoulder joint. These muscles and tendons hold the arm in the shoulder joint and help the shoulder move in different directions offering you immense flexibility. The tendons in the rotator cuff can tear when they are overused or injured.
Arthroscopic shoulder surgery can treat a variety of common shoulder ailments, including arthritis, tendonitis, laberal tears and shoulder instability among others. Usually, in cases where other treatment routes such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, rest, etc, do not show results, than arthroscopy can be considered.
An orthopedic surgeon may do one or more of these procedures during the shoulder operation subjective to the damage in the patient’s joints. Common arthroscopic procedures include:
Once the surgery is complete, the incisions will be closed with stitches and covered with a dressing or bandage). Most surgeons take pictures from the video monitor during the procedure to show you what they found and the repairs that were made.
While the orthopedic surgeon before recommending any surgery will try a range of non-surgical treatments such as anti-inflammatory medication, ice & heat application, physical therapy, ask you to follow a list of certain dos and don’ts, etc. But surgery may be advised if:
Though experienced joint replacement and orthopedic surgeons will first opt for arthroscopic surgery as it is minimally invasive and offers quicker recovery, but in some cases if the joint is majorly affected, then open surgery where even total shoulder replacement will have to be done. A large incision is made in the shoulder wherein the shoulder muscle is detached to give the surgeon direct access to your tendon. This is helpful if your tendon or shoulder joint needs to be replaced.
Arthritis of the shoulder can be treated with a total shoulder replacement for patients who have severe shoulder pain and minimum ability of shoulder movement. The procedure involves removing the damaged and degenerated part of the shoulder and replacing them with artificial components, just as in other joint replacement surgeries such as hip or knee replacement surgery.
In recent years, a new type of shoulder replacement, the “Reverse” shoulder has gained popularity amongst shoulder surgeons to treat arthritis. In some types of arthritis, these tendons are severely damaged, torn, or non functional. Because of this, an anatomic shoulder has no soft tissue to hold it in place and or to move it.
The design of the reverse shoulder puts the ball on the patient’s own socket, and it is the plastic socket which is placed on the humerus bone. The reverse design has more stability and does not need the tendons to hold it in place. It also is moved by the deltoid muscle, not the rotator cuff tendon, so it is an ideal choice when the damaged shoulder needs new surfaces, but does not have healthy enough soft tissues for stabilization and movement.
Generally speaking, recovery from arthroscopic surgery is typically quicker than open shoulder surgeries. Although with modern technology and high grade infection control the results are good but few basic precautions have to be taken care of such as:
Patients who religiously comply with all the therapies prescribed by their orthopedic surgeon will have the best medical results after surgery. Have a detailed discussion with the orthopedic doctor to ensure that one is able to take the best care of their joint after undergoing surgery.