After the arthroscope revolutionized the surgical approach to the knee in the seventies it completely changed the surgical options for the shoulder. Shoulder arthroscopy allows for intervention in most of the common shoulder surgeries. With an arthroscopic procedure we can remove damaged cartilage, loose bodies, bone spurs, repair biceps tendon tears, rotator cuff tears and stabilize the shoulder ligaments. In the past, the only way to repair a torn rotator cuff tendon was with open surgery, but now these tears are best dealt with by arthroscopic surgery (rotator cuff tears). When the shoulder is painful and has shoulder impingement, tendinitis, and bursitis, the arthroscope allows us to treat these conditions with a manageable procedure allowing for rapid recovery and return to work and sports (Shoulder impingement). Unstable shoulders that dislocate can be repaired with the use of the arthroscope (A patient’s experience with chronic unstable shoulder).
Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is performed as outpatient surgery. After you check into the hospital the day surgery personnel will take you back to the day surgery unit where you prepare for surgery. The nursing staff asks lots of questions and examine you in preparation for surgery. The anesthesiologist will visit and discuss your needs for the surgery. If a larger surgery such as shoulder stabilization, rotator cuff repair, and extensive debridement and decompression is planned they will often offer a nerve block for your postoperative comfort. This will be done in the day surgery unit or back in the operating room. They will then discuss the anesthetic for the surgery the general anesthesia. They will discuss the pros and cons of each approach and any special recommendations for you. After surgery you will be taken to the recovery room for early recovery and then on to the day surgery unit until you are ready to go home. Dr. Bomberg will discuss your surgical findings with you and a significant other after surgery. An information sheet (available on the website for most procedures) will be provided and specific directions given. Prescriptions, physical therapy orders, pictures of your arthroscopic surgery, ice and sling or shoulder immobilizer will be provided. Usually, instructions on suggested dates for follow-up are given and you will need to call the office to confirm a time. In general, we will recheck the shoulder between 5-10 days post op. Physical therapy is usually prescribed and exercises are available online (Shoulder exercises).