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Shoulder Arthroscopy

Expert Orange County Shoulder Surgeons

What is Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical option for patients suffering from shoulder conditions such as labral tears and rotator cuff tears. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a procedure used to examine, diagnose, and treat a number of issues within the shoulder joint and in the area surrounding the rotator cuff.

During shoulder arthroscopy, a small camera called an arthroscope is inserted into the shoulder joint via a small incision so your shoulder surgeon can visualize the area by looking at a video monitor in the operating room as they guide tiny surgical instruments. Arthroscopic surgery differs from “open” surgery in that only small incisions are necessary to access the shoulder, rather than larger incisions needed for standard, open surgery. Patients heal faster and have less post-operative pain because only small incisions are used in this minimally invasive arthroscopic technique.

Why Do I Need Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Injury, overuse, and wear and tear cause many shoulder problems that damage the rotator cuff tendons, labrum, articular cartilage, and other soft tissues surrounding the joint.

Common shoulder conditions treated with arthroscopic shoulder surgery include:

What Happens During Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Shoulder arthroscopy is typically performed in an outpatient surgery center. Prior to surgery, you will discuss anesthesia options with your anesthesiologist and shoulder surgeon. Most patients receive general anesthesia and regional nerve blocks to numb the arm and shoulder. During shoulder arthroscopy, your orthopedic shoulder surgeon will insert the arthroscope into the shoulder via a small incision, the size of a buttonhole. Once in place, the doctor can inspect your shoulder joint and its tissues, including the cartilage, bones, tendons, and ligaments. A sterile fluid is injected into the shoulder joint to inflate the joint, making it easier for your doctor to see all of the structures of your shoulder through the arthroscope. A real-time video taken by the arthroscope is projected on the video screen showing your surgeon the inside of your shoulder and any damaged tissues.

Once your problem area is clearly identified, other small surgical instruments are inserted through separate incisions. Tiny surgical instruments can perform various tasks like shaving, cutting, grasping, suture passing, and knot tying. In many cases, special devices are used to anchor stitches into the bone. Your surgeon may close your incisions with stitches or steri-strips, which will be covered with a soft bandage.

After Surgery

You will stay in the recovery room for 1 to 2 hours before being discharged to go home. Nurses will monitor you and provide pain medication as needed. You will need to arrange to have someone drive you home and stay with you for at least the first night.

Recovery from shoulder arthroscopy is often faster than recovery from traditional open surgery, but it may still take weeks to months for a full recovery depending on the severity of your condition and how extensive your surgery was. Ice will help relieve pain and swelling. Your doctor may prescribe pain medicine if needed and physical therapy to accelerate the healing process and restore motion and strength in your shoulder. For patients who need only minor repairs, your strength may return after a few sessions of physical therapy, and you’ll be able to return to work or school within a few days of your procedure. Always make sure to check with your doctor prior to resuming physical activities.

Trust the Shoulder Surgeons at Newport Orthopedic Institute

Our board-certified, fellowship-trained Orange County shoulder surgeons are skilled at performing arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Get to the bottom of your shoulder pain today, contact NOI for a consultation.

Do you need arthroscopic shoulder surgery?
Call Newport Orthopedic Institute at (949) 722-7038.

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  • Shoulder Scope With Reconstruction "Thoughtful and thorough. I appreciate being cared for both as a patient and as a person. Thank you for being you!" Provider: Russell S Petrie MD
  • Shoulder Scope With Reconstruction "I felt like every nook and cranny of my care was attended to by Dr. Petrie and his team. I especially found having Julie at the helm of Health Loop useful and appreciated how she has swiftly gotten back to me regarding all concerns regarding my care." Provider: Russell S Petrie MD
  • Shoulder Scope With Reconstruction "Everything. He is great, and his team is fantastic. Impressed with everyone." Provider: Russell S Petrie MD
  • Petrie Shoulder Scope With Reconstruction "Detailed explanation of what was done to repair the injury and available for any follow up questions." Provider: Russell S Petrie MD
  • Shoulder Scope With Reconstruction "Dr. Petrie and his staff are always available to answer anything." Provider: Russell S Petrie MD
  • Shoulder Scope With Reconstruction "Dr Gazzaniga is great. He has great bedside manners, is confident, but not arrogant, and he has a sports background, as a player and a doctor for the NY Jets. His team does a great job of keeping you informed, and comfortable during your whole experience" Provider: David S Gazzaniga MD
  • Shoulder Scope With Reconstruction "Dr. Petrie was thorough and explained the surgery and recovery. I'm 5 1/2 months post surgery and my shoulder feels 99% normal. Better than I'd ever imagined!" Provider: Russell S Petrie MD
  • Shoulder Scope With Reconstruction "I feel that both Dr. Petrie and Karri are extremely knowledgeable and skilled. I also appreciated that they were very patient and answered all my questions. But mostly, I'm just really happy so far with the results of my surgery." Provider: Russell S Petrie MD
  • Shoulder Scope With Reconstruction "Dr. Petrie is thoughtful and thorough. I appreciate being cared for both as a patient and as a person. Thank you for being you!" Provider: Russell S Petrie MD
  • Shoulder Scope With Reconstruction "The care and follow up Dr. Petrie and his team give to their patients is absolutely wonderful. Lucky Me! That he's my doctor." Provider: Russell S Petrie MD
  • Shoulder Scope With Reconstruction "Newport Orthopedic doctors are the best in the world!" Provider: Russell S Petrie MD
  • Shoulder Scope With Reconstruction "It was obvious that the team kept my best interests in the forefront." Provider: Russell S Petrie MD
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