Outlook of Shoulder arthroscopy a minimally invasive procedure

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure wherein a thin fibre optic camera called arthroscope is used to visualize the images of the bones , cartilage , tendons , also  necessary treatment is carried out. The procedure in contrast to open surgery and requires very minimal incision.

The shoulder joint is prone to injury since it is very mobile. Most of people suffer from shoulder problem causing  pain, tenderness, weakness, instability, and limitation of movement, the physical examination, and different scans tell us about the nature of the problem but  arthroscopy helps determine more precisely what is wrong as also to correct it . Shoulder arthroscopy cost in India is often used treat broken bones, ligament tears, loose tissue, etc The procedure may take 30 min to 2 hours depending on the pathology involved.

Is arthroscopy better than open surgery for  shoulder joint ?

As arthroscopy is minimally invasive procedure, there will be less pain and reduced hospitalization time than with open surgery. The surgeon needs to make small incisions  leading to less chances of infection ,also scars from arthroscopic surgery will be very small.

You may have less pain and stiffness after an arthroscopy, also the healing will be faster after arthroscopic surgery than after open surgery. 

But there are certain shoulder conditions are not suitable for arthroscopic surgery.

What are the Indications for shoulder  arthroscopy ?

Pain, swelling, stiffness, not resolving by conservative treatment . shoulder arthroscopy is commonly used procedure for Rotator cuff tear which is an injury of shoulder causing  pain and disability making it difficult to do  many daily activities, like combing  hair or getting dressed. Continued pain not improving by conservative therapy is the main indication for surgery.

Arthroscopy also used to diagnose and treat pathological  disorders of the shoulder joint like


  • arthritis


  • fractures
  • instability 
  • Arthroscopic
  • Infection
  • Loose bodies  used to find and remove the loose bodies.


  • The surgeon notes the past and present medical history, duration of shoulder  pain ,history of any injury , surgeries performed if any
  • Physical examination
  • X rays and MRI to determine the condition of bones and soft tissue
  • Aim is to diagnose and correct the pathology so as to relieve  shoulder pain and improve overall function.
  • Preoperative evaluation to declare you fit for surgery which includes present past medical history, complete blood count, urine analysis, clotting factor testing , ECG ,
  • Small incisions are made in the shoulder to allow the arthroscope  and instruments to be inserted . During the procedure, an arthroscope is used to see inside the joint, small tools are used to fix the shoulder problem. According to the pathology , for treatment purpose screws, stitches, or pins are placed in joint.

After procedure

  • After the surgery is complete, a  sterile dressing is placed over the sutures. Advised  to wear a splint or brace after the procedure.
  • Patient  kept under observation ,vitals will be monitored on a regular basis, IV antibiotics will be administered  to avoid any possible infection . Pain and swelling may be present , will require NSAIDs for a few days .
  • Depending on the type of procedure and general condition in few patients  hospitalization is recommended for monitoring .
  • Usually advised immobilizing the shoulder in a sling . A physical therapist is required to increase range of motion. Physiotherapy  plays an important role in recovery to regain strength of shoulder after surgery .
  • Advised to  visit the consultant within 7-10 days of arthroscopy


Though the procedure is safe but as with any procedure complications may occur though rare can include :

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Injury to nerves and blood vessels around the shoulder.
  • Temporary Numbness  


Recovery time will depend on the severity of  shoulder problems and the treatment surgeon has performed on  shoulder joint. In cases of minor repair you can join back work in few days or in some may take several weeks to months for full recovery.

Most people achieve good results after shoulder arthroscopy.

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