What is shoulder arthroscopy?

Shoulder arthroscopy is a common surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat conditions within the shoulder joint. This minimally invasive surgical technique utilizes a small camera (arthroscope) and specialized surgical instruments inserted through equally small incisions to visualize and repair damaged structures within and around the shoulder joint. Patients that elect for a shoulder arthroscopy can expect a reduced risk of infection and blood loss during the procedure and decreased pain and inflammation following the procedure. Dr. Ronak Mukesh Patel, orthopedic shoulder doctor, treats patients in Sugar Land, Pearland, and the Houston, Texas area who are in need of a shoulder arthroscopy.

What types of shoulder injuries can be repaired arthroscopically?

There are a variety of shoulder conditions and injuries that can employ an arthroscopic surgical approach, including, but not limited to, the following:

What happens during a shoulder arthroscopy?

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is typically completed as an outpatient procedure as the recovery period does not warrant an overnight hospital stay. Before the procedure, the patient is placed under anesthesia and positioned on the table. When stable, Dr. Patel will create a few small incisions over the injured portion of the shoulder. A small camera (arthroscope) is then inserted through a portal for Dr. Patel to methodically examine the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments of the shoulder joint. A sterile solution is continually circulated to enhance the visualization of these shoulder structures. Depending on Dr. Patel’s intra-operative findings, specialized surgical instruments are introduced to repair the damaged structures within the shoulder joint. Once the necessary revisions have been completed, the arthroscope and surgical instruments are removed, and the incisions are closed with small sutures or steri-strips.

Shoulder Arthroscopy | Houston TX

What is the recovery period like after arthroscopic shoulder surgery?

Even though minimally invasive procedures, like a shoulder arthroscopy, have been shown to reduce recovery times, the bones, tendons, and ligaments still take the same amount of time to heal. It is important not to re-injure the shoulder during the healing process. The recovery period can be largely affected by a patient’s willingness to comply with the post-operative care instructions set forth by Dr. Patel. Patients in the Sugar Land, Pearland, and the Houston, Texas area can generally expect the following:

  • The shoulder and arm may remain numb for several hours following surgery if a nerve block was applied prior to the procedure.
  • Pain, bruising, swelling, and discomfort are normal in the week following an arthroscopic procedure. Ice application is important during the first 48 hours, although many patients continue applying ice for pain management.
  • Patients are encouraged to take pain medications as prescribed, especially in the first 48 to 72 hours after surgery.
  • The key to a successful recovery following an arthroscopic surgical procedure is active participation and completion of the physical rehabilitation program designed by Dr. Patel. The timing of physical therapy and when to expect a return to normal daily activities will be determined by Dr. Patel’s intra-operative findings.

Shoulder Instability Surgeon

Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that can be used to diagnose and treat many different injuries and disorders in the shoulder. Shoulder arthroplasty can help to restore range of motion and reduce pain. Complex shoulder surgeon, Doctor Ronak Mukesh Patel, provides diagnosis and personalized treatment plans for patients in Houston, Sugar Land, and Pearland, TX who are experiencing shoulder pain. Contact Dr. Patel’s team today!