Arthroscopy is a procedure that orthopedic surgeons use to inspect, diagnose, and repair problems inside a joint. The word arthroscopy comes from two Greek words, “arthro” (joint) and “skopein” (to look). The term literally means “to look within the joint.”
During shoulder arthroscopy, we insert a small camera, called an arthroscope, into your shoulder joint. The camera displays pictures on a high-definition television screen, and we use these images to guide placement and manipulation of miniature surgical instruments that are inserted into other small incisions.
Because the arthroscope and surgical instruments are thin, we frequently can use very small incisions (cuts), rather than the larger incision needed for standard, open surgery. On rare occasion, an additional larger incision is necessary in addition to the arthroscopic incisions.
Overall, the arthroscopic techniques result in less pain for patients, and may shorten the time it takes to recover and begin the return to favorite activities. In general, the recovery from shoulder reconstructive surgeries takes several months because of the rehabilitation required on such a mobile joint, but with patience and commitment, results from shoulder surgery are quite good.
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