Arthroscopy of the Shoulder

Arthroscopy of the Shoulder at North Downs Hospital

What is an arthroscopy of the shoulder?

Arthroscopy of the shoulder is keyhole surgery, so it is carried out through a very small incision near your shoulder and a tiny camera is inserted into your shoulder joint to allow your orthopaedic surgeon to see inside.

Shoulder arthroscopy is often used for shoulder injuries, overuse, arthritis and some other health conditions.

It can confirm a diagnosis suggested by your physical health and previous diagnostic tests as well as investigate pain where there is no apparent cause or if you have a painful condition that has not responded to non-surgical treatment.

Common arthroscopic shoulder treatments include:

• Shoulder stabilisation – repair and tightening of your shoulder ligaments to prevent dislocation.
• Shoulder impingement decompression – also known as sub-acromial decompression or acromioplasty. Inflamed soft tissues (bursa and ligaments) and bone spurs are removed to take the pressure off your rotator cuff tendons.
• Rotator cuff tendon repair – repair of rotator cuff tears caused by injury or wear and tear. May be performed at the same time as shoulder decompression.
• Frozen shoulder treatment - release of the tight structures within your shoulder, known as shoulder arthroscopic release.
• Shoulder debridement - removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage. 
• Cartilage repair – caused by wear and tear arthritis.

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