How Is Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Performed?

Patients who choose arthroscopic shoulder surgery must undergo a comprehensive evaluation to address any medical issue that can intervene and complicate the procedure. Similarly, patients should notify their physician about any health conditions they're experiencing and the medicine used to treat them, as they may negatively influence the intervention's outcome.

In the period leading up to the operation, patients will be provided with detailed instructions about what the procedure involves, when to arrive, and when to stop eating or drinking before the intervention.

Before the intervention, patients are administered a general or regional anesthetic to prevent pain, and nerve blocking agents may be used to provide extended pain relief for 12 to 24 hours after the procedure. After securing the patient in a reclining position or on their side, arthroscopic surgery can commence.

  • Small incisions are made around the shoulder, enabling surgeons to introduce a narrow tube-like camera fitted with a light source known as an arthroscope to visualize the shoulder's interior on a screen.
  • Specialized small surgical instruments are inserted through the tiny incisions to perform the required repairs, including cutting, shaving, tying knots, passing sutures, drilling holes, and fitting anchors into the bone.
  • After the repairs have been effectuated and all damage has been addressed, the surgeon closes the incisions with steri-strips or stitches and covers the wound with a bandage. The procedure is thus complete, and the patient is moved to the recovery area until the effects of anesthesia subside.

Arthroscopic surgery takes between 1-2 hours to perform depending on the extent of the injury, and patients return home on the same day. It is, however, recommended to have a designated driver following arthroscopic shoulder surgery, as the arm and joint will be immobilized in a sling.