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Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive technique used by orthopedic surgeons to assess and treat various conditions affecting the shoulder joint. This procedure involves making small incisions or portals in the affected joint, through which a tiny camera and fiber optics are inserted to provide a visual of the interior space. The images captured by the camera are projected onto a screen in the operating suite. Arthroscopic techniques are preferred over traditional open shoulder surgery due to smaller incisions and shorter recovery times.
Anatomy of the Shoulder Joint
Contrary to popular belief, the shoulder is not a single joint but is composed of two joints: the acromioclavicular joint and the glenohumeral joint. The acromioclavicular joint is where the acromion of the shoulder blade and the collarbone meet, while the glenohumeral joint is where the head of the humerus meets the glenoid, a cup-like portion of the scapula. There is also a potential space called the subacromial space between the acromion and the rotator cuff tendon. Injuries to the shoulder can occur in either joint or in the supporting soft tissues.
Shoulder Conditions Treated with Arthroscopic Surgery
Arthroscopy can be used to diagnose and treat a variety of shoulder conditions, including:
- Biceps Tendon and Rotator Cuff Injuries: Arthroscopy can be used to treat conditions such as tendonitis, tears, and frayed tendons of the biceps and rotator cuff. Debridement and tendon repair are common treatment options.
- Shoulder Impingement: This condition occurs when the rotator cuff tendon becomes inflamed or abraded. Arthroscopic techniques can be used to create more space by thinning the acromion and removing any bursa that may be causing the impingement.
- Labral Tears: Arthroscopy can be used to diagnose and repair tears in the labrum, which is the cartilage that surrounds the glenoid.
- Frozen Shoulder: Also known as adhesive capsulitis, this condition causes synovitis and contracture of the shoulder joint capsule, resulting in limited range of motion. Arthroscopic surgery can release the contractures and restore mobility.
- AC Joint Injuries: Arthroscopy may be used to stabilize the acromioclavicular joint through ligament reconstruction.
- Articular Cartilage Injuries: Arthroscopy can be used to debride damaged cartilage and potentially utilize cartilage regeneration techniques.
- Arthritis of the Shoulder: Debridement of cartilage and loose tissue bodies may provide temporary relief, but in severe cases, a shoulder replacement may be necessary.
- Fractures and Infections: Arthroscopy can aid in the repair of smaller fractures and can be used to debride and wash out shoulder infections.
Diagnostic Shoulder Arthroscopy
Arthroscopy can also be used as a diagnostic tool to assess various shoulder conditions. This procedure allows the orthopedic surgeon to visually examine the joint and make an accurate diagnosis.
Hospital Stay and Anesthesia
Shoulder arthroscopy is typically an ambulatory procedure, meaning that patients can go home on the same day. The type of anesthesia used depends on the case, with regional anesthesia and mild sedation being the most common. General anesthesia is usually not necessary.
Why Choose Tristar Physical Therapy for Rotator Cuff Physical Therapy
TriStar Physical Therapy offers specialized care and expertise in rotator cuff physical therapy. Our team of professionals is dedicated to helping patients recover from rotator cuff injuries and regain optimal shoulder function. With our comprehensive treatment plans, personalized approach, and state-of-the-art facilities, we ensure that our patients receive the highest quality care. If you’re in need of rotator cuff physical therapy, choose TriStar Physical Therapy for exceptional treatment and outcomes.