Every year, many people visit the doctor for shoulder-related problems. The shoulder is particularly prone to injury, and frequent, repetitive overhead motions—as well as sudden trauma—can damage the joint. This can cause pain and tenderness, weakness, or instability in the shoulder joint. It can also limit the joint’s range of motion.
Conservative, non-surgical management is the initial and most preferred method of treatment. However, if surgery is necessary, it’s vital that you consult an experienced orthopedic surgeon who can explain your options with you and determine whether a minimally invasive procedure is your best option.
In this blog, Dr. Francis Mendoza will explain what shoulder arthroscopy is and whether you are a candidate for it.
What are the treatment options for shoulder injuries?
Rehabilitation and physical therapy are the first recommended methods of treatment for shoulder injuries of most kinds. However, if these conservative treatments don’t alleviate the pain, then some patients may need surgical treatment.
There are two main types of surgery for shoulder instability, and both surgeries can be performed through arthroscopy, which allows minimally invasive procedures.
What is shoulder arthroscopy?
Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to examine, diagnose, and repair injuries to the shoulder joint. It uses a very small camera mounted on a tube and inserted into the joint through the smallest incision possible. This allows the surgeon to visualize the interior of the joint without physically exposing the joint (through a large incision) for visual inspection, as open surgery does. This means less trauma to the tissues, less post-operative pain, and faster recovery time.
When shoulder arthroscopy is used to repair an injury, one or more additional incisions will be made to allow access for surgical tools. Like the incision through which the camera is inserted, these are the smallest possible incisions. The camera streams video to a video screen, and the surgeon uses the video image to guide the tools as he makes repairs.
Am I a candidate for shoulder arthroscopy?
A shoulder is deemed unstable when it frequently dislocates or slips partially out of joint. People who have an unstable shoulder often experience pain in the affected shoulder and may have limited range of motion in the joint. They may have the feeling that simply moving the shoulder the wrong way might cause it to dislocate or subluxate (partially dislocate).
Shoulder problems that may be successfully treated with shoulder arthroscopy include the following:
- Rotator cuff injuries such as rotator cuff tears
- Injuries to the biceps tendon
- Bone spurs in the shoulder
- Shoulder Instability
- Injuries to the labrum
- Inflamed tissue in the joint or loose cartilage
Where can I find shoulder arthroscopy treatment in New York City?
Dr. Francis Mendoza is a fellowship-trained Manhattan shoulder specialist, who is dedicated to providing personalized treatment plans for each of his patients. If you’re suffering from a shoulder injury such as a rotator cuff tear or shoulder instability, schedule an appointment with Dr. Mendoza today and have your condition evaluated.