Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive surgical treatment used to treat a variety of shoulder conditions, including rotator cuff tears, laberal tears, and severe arthritis. During the procedure, the orthopaedic surgeon will insert a camera, known as an arthroscope, into a small incision. The camera sends real-time images of the interior of the joint to a computer monitor in the operating room. The orthopaedic surgeon will then insert specialized instruments into a second incision to repair the affected areas. The combination of the arthroscope and specialized instruments allows the surgical team to complete the procedure with increased precision and accuracy. Shoulder arthroscopy has several advantages, including less scarring due to smaller incisions, shorter hospital stay, faster return to daily activities, and a more natural feeling when moving the joint.
After surgery, limiting joint movement is necessary for proper healing. You will need to wear a sling or a brace to stabilize the joint. Post surgery you will often experience pain and inflammation. A cold compress and rest, in addition to your prescribed pain medications, will help decrease post-op symptoms. The incisions will take several days to heal, so the Virginia Institute for Sports Medicine team will recommend that you wait to begin your physical therapy for a few days. During physical therapy, a gradual approach will be used to help you return to your everyday and athletic activities sooner and safely.