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Shoulder Arthroscopy Questions Answered

Shoulder arthroscopy uses advanced technology that allows the surgeon to examine and repair in and around the shoulder joint. The goal is to relieve shoulder pain and restore function. With the help of a small camera with a light on the end, the surgeon can see the joint and surrounding tissue, make a proper diagnosis, and repair conditions such as torn rotator cuffs, dislocations, and joint inflammation.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons estimates over 1.4 million of these surgeries are performed each year with an impressive success rate. Some procedures report up to 95 percent positive outcomes for patients.


Prime Surgical Suites — Shoulder Specialists

The surgeons at Prime Surgical Suites specialize in arthroscopic surgeries. They spent years mastering minimally invasive surgeries like shoulder arthroscopy.

Prime Surgical Suites also offer the latest technology, allowing patients to get this surgical procedure on an outpatient basis and recover where they are most comfortable — at home.


What is Arthroscopic Surgery?

Arthroscopic surgery allows the surgeon to insert a small fiber-optic video camera through a tiny incision. The camera gives the surgeon an unobstructed view of the shoulder joint. Two or three more small incisions let the doctor complete the repair.

With shoulder arthroscopic surgery, three or four small incisions go just ½ inch from the joint. The smaller incisions and intact tissue cuts allow for faster recovery and less risk from the procedure. The surgery lasts about an hour, and you go home the same day to heal.


What Kinds of Shoulder Surgeries are Arthroscopic?

Some of the most common shoulder surgeries we see involve arthroscopic techniques, such as:

  • Repairing rotator cuff tears
  • Subacromial decompression — removal of bone spurs
  • Improvements to the Glenoid Labrum — SLAP tears, which is an injury to the ring of cartilage around the shoulder socket
  • Correction of shoulder instability — either a dislocation or subluxation (partial dislocation)
  • Recovery of the biceps tendon
  • Bursitis
  • Arthritis debridement — removal of tissue in the joint damaged by arthritis
  • Remove from a frozen shoulder

Done arthroscopically, these surgeries are faster and require less recovery time.


How Does Arthroscopy Surgery Feel?

Thanks to general anesthesia during the surgery, you won’t feel a thing. You’ll sleep during the procedure and wake up in recovery.


How Long is Rehab From Arthroscopic Surgery?

It may vary from person to person, but recovery time is generally between four to six weeks.


Do I need a Sling?

Yes, we will put you in a sling for about two weeks. It can come off when the pain subsides.


Can I Shower After Surgery?

Yes, but we ask that you wait for 48 hours before taking a shower.


What Are Post-Op Appointments?

We would usually see a patient two weeks after the surgery, then again at the six-week mark plus three, six, and twelve months.


What Are the Benefits of Shoulder Arthroscopy?

The alternative to an arthroscopic procedure is open surgery. That requires a much larger incision, which means more damage to tissue and muscle. With shoulder arthroscopy, there are just small incisions, so less damage.

You can likely expect a hospital stay after open surgery, too. Shoulder arthroscopy is an outpatient procedure, so discharge is just a few hours after the surgery.


At Prime Surgical Suites, we provide state-of-the-art, cost-effective musculoskeletal surgical care in a convenient and comfortable outpatient setting for patients of all ages. Located in RiverCrest Medical Park, we are the region's first outpatient center focused exclusively on orthopedics. Our physician-led center will help restore your active lifestyle and well-being with compassion and orthopedic excellence. 

Tags: Shoulder