An Overview of Shoulder Arthroscopy (Minimally Invasive Shoulder Surgery)

When a shoulder injury or condition is severe enough, surgical repair may be necessary to correct the problem. In years past, shoulder surgery was a complex procedure that involved a large incision and a significant recovery time. Today, however, many conditions are amenable to treatment through small incisions through a camera-guided technique called arthroscopy.

Top shoulder surgeon, Dr. Stephen Nicholas, specializes in shoulder arthroscopy (minimally invasive shoulder surgery) for the treatment of many shoulder problems.

 

What types of shoulder injuries would shoulder arthroscopy be used for?

Conservative, non-surgical management and traditional surgery are still the preferred treatment options for many shoulder injuries, and the appropriate treatment for your injury will depend upon your unique situation.

If surgery is necessary, a consultation with an experienced orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder surgery is the first step. A top orthopedic surgeon can examine your condition, explain your options and determine whether shoulder arthroscopy is the best treatment for you.

Some conditions for which arthroscopic shoulder surgery may be appropriate include:

Bone Spurs
Bone spurs are painful outgrowths of bone that can occur in any joint, but they are a frequent source of discomfort and pain in the shoulder. Bone spurs form in response to stress, often from osteoarthritis or even from inflammation such as tendinitis. Shoulder arthroscopy can be used to remove bone spurs in the shoulder joint; this not only relieves pain, it may also reduce the likelihood of rotator cuff tears or tendonitis.

Shoulder Instability
Shoulder instability is a condition in which the head of the humerus (the upper arm bone) is prone to dislocation, either partial (called subluxation) or complete. The ligaments holding the head of the humerus in place become stretched and in many cases are unable to heal by themselves. Minimally invasive shoulder surgery can be used to tighten these ligaments and improve the stability of the joint.

Rotator Cuff Injury
Rotator cuff injuries can be either acute injuries—the result of shoulder trauma—or can be the result of wear and tear over time. In either case, shoulder arthroscopy may be a good option for repairing the injury.

Biceps Tendon Injury
Biceps tendon injuries can be a significant source of pain. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery may be used to repair the damaged tendon or to move the tendon out of the shoulder joint to relieve the pain.

Labral Injury
Injuries to the labrum, which is the rim of cartilage around the shoulder socket, may also be fixed using shoulder arthroscopy.

 

What does shoulder arthroscopy involve?

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery, a minimally invasive shoulder surgery technique, uses small incisions and a tiny camera to visualize the inside of the shoulder joint and guide the surgeon in making necessary repairs. The camera is inserted through one small incision, while surgical tools are manipulated through another. The camera broadcasts an image of the joint to a television screen, which allows the surgeon to see the inside of the joint with a great amount of detail, without exposing the joint through the traditional, large incision. Using arthroscopy, a skilled shoulder surgeon is able to perform the surgery with the same amount of precision and success as a traditional, open procedure, while avoiding the trauma associated with open incisions.

 

Where can I find a top shoulder arthroscopy surgeon in NYC?

When you’re faced with the possibility of shoulder surgery, consulting with a trained specialist is vital. An orthopedic surgeon can determine whether minimally invasive shoulder surgery is your best option. If shoulder arthroscopy is recommended, you will want a top arthroscopic shoulder surgeon to perform your surgery so you can rest assured that you will receive the most technical precision and best surgical outcome.

Dr. Stephen Nicholas, founder of NY Orthopedics, is a fellowship-trained sports medicine physician with more than twenty years of experience in performing the latest shoulder repair surgeries, including shoulder arthroscopy. If shoulder surgery is something you’re facing, request a consultation with Dr. Nicholas today to learn more about your treatment options.

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Dr. Jose Rodriguez is no longer practicing at New York Orthopedics as of March 31, 2017. For a full list of our doctors, please visit this page.