What is shoulder arthroscopy?
Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure Dr. Weinheimer can use to diagnose problems within your shoulder. In some cases, he may be able to treat certain issues arthroscopically as well.
During the procedure, Dr. Weinheimer inserts a narrow tube into your shoulder through a small incision. Attached to the tube is a video camera he uses to look at the inside of your shoulder. If repairing problems during the procedure, Dr. Weinheimer inserts thin instruments through the incision. In some cases, he may not decide to repair the problems in your shoulder joint arthroscopically until he has viewed them with the camera.
When is shoulder arthroscopy appropriate?
Dr. Weinheimer often recommends shoulder arthroscopy when he needs to see the inside of your shoulder joint to confirm a specific diagnosis. He may also recommend this procedure to repair small defects or injuries that don’t require open surgery. Some of the issues he may diagnose and repair arthroscopically include:
- Loose bone fragments
- Torn tendons
What are the benefits of shoulder arthroscopy?
Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure. Unlike open surgery, arthroscopy requires only a small incision. The recovery period is shorter, and the procedure tends to be less expensive. Shoulder arthroscopy also provides more information about the state of your shoulder joint than a less invasive diagnostic procedure, such as an MRI.
How do I know if shoulder arthroscopy is the right choice?
Shoulder arthroscopy isn’t appropriate for every patient. To determine whether this procedure is right for you, Dr. Weinheimer performs a thorough exam, orders scans, and discusses treatment goals with you in detail.
Before scheduling the procedure, he explains the risks and benefits. He also presents any other options available so you can make an informed decision. In some cases, Dr. Weinheimer may need to convert to an open procedure if arthroscopic repair isn’t possible.
What are the risks?
Shoulder arthroscopy is generally less risky than an open surgery. However, there is a small risk of the following:
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Excessive bleeding
- Postoperative pain
- Infection at the surgical site
- Damage to surrounding tissues
In some cases, surgery may not be successful, and you may continue experiencing symptoms even after your recovery period. However, as an experienced hand and upper extremity surgeon, Dr. Weinheimer knows how to perform these procedures as safely and effectively as possible.
How fast do patients recover from shoulder surgery?
Most patients will go home the day of surgery. The recovery time depends heavily on the type of shoulder surgery performed. Most patients can resume their normal activities within six to twelve weeks, depending upon the procedure. Before scheduling your surgery, Dr. Weinheimer explains your expected recovery time, as well as the instructions you must follow while you heal. Following all these instructions carefully ensures that you recover from the procedure as quickly as possible.