Shoulder Scope and Replacements

Shoulder Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a procedure that orthopaedic surgeons use to inspect, diagnose, and repair problems inside a joint.

Your doctor may recommend shoulder arthroscopy if you have a painful condition that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment. Nonsurgical treatment includes rest, physical therapy, and medications or injections that can reduce inflammation. Inflammation is one of your body's normal reactions to injury or disease. In an injured or diseased shoulder joint, inflammation causes swelling, pain, and stiffness.

Injury, overuse, and age-related wear and tear are responsible for most shoulder problems. Shoulder arthroscopy may relieve painful symptoms of many problems that damage the rotator cuff tendons, labrum, articular cartilage, and other soft tissues surrounding the joint.

Common arthroscopic procedures include:

  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Bone spur removal
  • Removal or repair of the labrum
  • Repair of ligaments
  • Removal of inflamed tissue or loose cartilage
  • Repair for recurrent shoulder dislocation

Less common procedures such as nerve release, fracture repair, and cyst excision can also be performed using an arthroscope. Some surgical procedures, such as shoulder replacement, still require open surgery with more extensive incisions.

What is Total Shoulder Replacement?

Total shoulder replacement involves replacing the arthritic humeral head (ball) with a metal ball and resurfacing the glenoid (socket) with polyethylene (plastic). The subscapularis muscle, one of the four rotator cuff muscles, must be cut to expose the joint. This muscle is repaired at the end of surgery but must be protected while it heals. Surgery typically last two to four hours in routine cases.

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