5 Reasons to Consider Shoulder Arthroscopy

5 Reasons to Consider Shoulder Arthroscopy

Minimally invasive surgery has brought welcome changes for patients, because these procedures don’t require the larger incisions called for in traditional open surgery. They only necessitate small “keyhole” incisions that are far less traumatic for the body. Because of this, patients heal faster and experience reduced pain, bleeding, and scarring. 

These techniques have revolutionized many procedures, but in the arena of orthopedic surgery, they’ve proven particularly transformative. 

Dr. Struan Coleman has embraced arthroscopic procedures for shoulder pain patients with much success. Since he has extensive experience in treating pro athletes, he brings special knowledge and true compassion to caring for you. His team is equally accomplished and focused on your healing. 

What is shoulder arthroscopy anyway?

We mentioned the smaller incisions that minimally invasive surgery is known for. Arthroscopy calls for the use of a small, narrow, bendable video camera — an arthroscope — that your surgeon places through a small incision. With it, they can see your joint well, make an accurate diagnosis, and when possible, repair damage. 

The surgery is typically performed in two parts. During the first, Dr. Coleman examines your shoulder closely to find the origin of your pain.

During this diagnostic phase, Dr. Coleman assesses:

The second part involves remedying the problem. Depending on the cause of your shoulder pain and hindered mobility, Dr. Coleman may remove chips of bone, repair torn tendons and muscles, or address other injuries.

Top 5 reasons to consider shoulder arthroscopy

There are a host of shoulder problems for which shoulder arthroscopy is an ideal fix — especially when other treatments fail. The most common are:

1. Frozen shoulder

This painful and immobilizing condition is often the result of a type of shoulder injury’s snowball effect. You’re at high risk if you’ve sustained a shoulder injury that requires you to keep your shoulder immobile to heal. Examples of this would be needing to wear a brace or a cast. 

Symptoms include pain and the inability to move your shoulder (the frozen part) for months at a time. Later, stiffness develops, and it’s quite difficult, if not impossible, to use your shoulder. 

2. Rotator cuff injuries

Your rotator cuff is made up of the tendons and muscles that securely keep the upper part of your arm bone in your shoulder socket. It stabilizes your shoulder and allows you to move it in many directions. 

Common rotator cuff injuries are partial or full tears, bursitis, and tendinitis. 

3. Shoulder impingement

This condition arises from persistent rubbing of your rotator cuff between your humerus (your upper arm bone) and your shoulder’s top outer edge. This causes swelling and pain. Repeated activities, particularly those that require you to lift your arm above your head, increase your risk. 

4. Labrum tears

Your labrum is a rubbery cartilage that lines your shoulder socket and helps keep your shoulder stable. It’s unmistakable when it tears, since you feel both pain and the sensation that your shoulder isn’t in place anymore. This is also known as instability. 

Labrum tears can happen in different areas, and in addition to pain, you might feel like your shoulder is popping, locking, or grinding. You won't be able to move your shoulder well, and it will likely feel weak. 

5. Bone spurs

This problem occurs when you develop excess bone growth from osteoarthritis, general wear-and-tear, and injuries. Symptoms include swelling, stiffness, limited mobility, pain that can be intense and radiate across your back and into your affected arm, numbness, tingling, and muscle spasms. 

The symptoms of these problems are varied, but all of them are enough to be life-limiting and shouldn’t be ignored. 

Arthroscopy is an especially important choice when more conservative treatments, like pain medications, physical therapy and pain injections, haven’t provided relief. You receive general anesthesia for the surgery, but you return home the same day in most cases. 

The minimally invasive aspect of shoulder arthroscopy means that recovery is quite different than years ago, but don’t worry. Dr. Coleman monitors you carefully before and is easily accessible after your shoulder arthroscopy to answer questions and offer any support you need. 

Don’t endure severe, persistent shoulder pain any longer, or live with the limitations on your movement, which reduce your quality of life. Call our primary office number at 212-606-1095 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Coleman at whichever of our offices is most convenient for you. You can now also meet with him through a telehealth appointment, from the comfort of your own home. 

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