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Shoulder Condition


Arthroscopy is a minimal invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat any injuries or abnormality in the joints. The orthopedic surgeon makes a small incision in the area and inserts a thin tubular instrument called as Arthroscope to diagnose joint injuries and other medical conditions. The Arthroscope is a thin tubular structure that has a camera and light attached to its end which enables the doctor to visualize the interior of the joint through a monitor connected to the camera. This allows the surgeon to determine the type of joint injury and decide on treatment options for recovery from the condition. The main advantage of Arthroscopy surgery is the minimal incision requirement for diagnoses and has a faster recovery rate than the open surgery procedure.

When is it needed?

The doctors might recommend Arthroscopy when there is a persistent joint pain, swelling or stiffness in the joint. The doctor might have already diagnosed your condition or he might need the arthroscopy to diagnose, confirm the pain source and treat damage caused to bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tendons.

The injuries that can be diagnosed and treated by arthroscopy are:

  • Cartilage damage
  • Removal of fragments of damaged or loosed cartilage
  • Removal of excess levels of fluids
  • Treatment for arthritis
  • Inflammation
  • Acute or chronic injury to shoulder, knee and wrist joints.

Pre-Procedural activities

Patient will be prepared for the surgery by taking blood tests, ECG or chest X-ray, for a safe surgery.

Inform the doctor of the medications and supplements, you are presently taking. You might have to stop taking Ibuprofen or aspirin, before the procedure.

Please refrain from eating and drinking 6-12 hours prior to the procedure.

A tourniquet is applied to the joint area and cleaned.

During procedure

Patient will be given anesthetic before the surgery, which might be general, spinal or local depending on the joint location.

The surgeon begins the procedure by making a small incision to insert an Arthroscope to view and diagnose the joints. Several other incisions are made to insert other instruments depending on the requirement.

The joint will be filled in with a sterile fluid to expand and make it more visible through the arthroscope.

Once the problem in the location is identified, small tools are inserted through the incisions to rectify this issue.

When the surgery is over, the fluid is drained out and the incisions are closed with stitches.

Post-Procedural Activities

There might be some pain and swelling after the surgery

The patient usually can leave the same day itself for recovery after a couple of hours.

The doctor might suggest icepack and change of dressing at home. The use of icepack will help reduce the swelling and minimize pain.

Doctor will need to see you at a follow-up appointment after a few days.

You might have to follow an exercise or rehabilitation program as instructed by the doctor or physical therapist for faster recovery.

Authored by Dr Banarji B.H - Shoulder Surgeon, Bangalore

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Baby Das

Last one year I was suffering from acute shoulder pain on my left shoulder. I went to several doctors, but not diagnosed.

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