What is Shoulder Arthroscopy?

 Man with inflamed shoulder wonders, what is shoulder arthroscopy.

When that shoulder ache becomes more than a minor irritation, or you develop an acute shoulder pain in a golf game, your first step is often a visit to your primary physician. If he or she has any concerns they will direct you to an orthopedic surgeon who will perform a shoulder arthroscopy to diagnose and repair issues within your shoulder joint.

Shoulder Arthroscopy Surgery diagnoses and treats the following injuries:

  • Bone spurs
  • Rotator Cuff 
  • Labrum damage
  • Ligament repair
  • Inflamed shoulder tissue
  • Loose Cartilage
  • Shoulder Dislocation

What happens during the procedure?


During a shoulder arthroscopy, an experienced orthopedic surgeon makes a very small incision and inserts an arthroscope (small camera) into the affected shoulder area. This gives your surgeon an excellent shot of your shoulder problems. Your surgeon views your shoulder joint via a screen, determines the problem, and in most cases, correct the issue during the initial arthroscopy.

What are the advantages to shoulder arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy of the shoulder has proven reliable in the diagnosis and treatment of shoulder injuries. It has also improved recovery times; most patients report post-operative pain that is tolerable. Most impressively, it is a less invasive surgical option. Most shoulder operations can be performed through arthroscopy.

What are the risks to knee arthroscopy?

It is rare that you will experience any risks during or after your shoulder arthroscopy procedure. To keep that risk as low as possible your orthopedic surgeon will inform you on how best to prepare for your surgery. You will also discuss what medications you may be taking, what medications you may need after the surgery for pain management, and he or she will let you know if you will need to avoid eating before surgery.

However, prepared as you may be, as with any surgery, there are risks involved. The following is a list of the risks involved specifically with shoulder arthroscopy surgery:

  • Stiffness in the shoulder
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding in the shoulder joint
  • Damage to areas of the knee including nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, cartilage, meniscus
  • Scarring

Recovering from Shoulder Arthroscopy

The recovery process from shoulder arthroscopy will involve immobilizing your shoulder. This often requires wearing a sling between 2 and 4 weeks, which will restrict wrist and elbow movement. A week after your arthroscopy you will likely begin physical therapy to strengthen your muscles.

Follow your doctor’s recovery instructions and your chances of full recovery from your shoulder arthroscopy procedure will be positive. Our Naples and Fort Myers Orthopedic department is headed by Doctor Michael Havig, who believes relating to and educating patients is his most important job. We recently welcomed a new Orthopedic Surgeon to our team, Dr Chirag Patel. If you live in the South West Florida area and are experiencing shoulder pain, talk to your primary physician about a referral to one of our many southwest Florida locations, or contact us directly.

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Fort Myers, FL 33919

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