Shoulder arthroscopy

Shoulder arthroscopy

Through the use of minimally invasive shoulder arthroscopy, typically on an outpatient basis, we confidently gain visual access to the joint. This approach enables us to effectively address and repair most articular disorders without the need for a large incision.

    About shoulder arthroscopy

    Shoulder arthroscopy is a surgical procedure employing a miniature camera known as an arthroscope to visualize and treat tissues within or surrounding the shoulder joint. This device is inserted through a small incision in the skin. Arthroscopy is used to diagnose and treat a wide range of shoulder problems without making a large cut through the skin and other soft tissues.

    • Impingement

    Impingement occurs when the inflamed bursa and/or the rotator cuff tendon become trapped between the humeral head and the undersurface of the acromion. It may be recommended if the symptoms persist despite conservative treatment.


    • Calcific tendinitis

    Calcific tendinitis is a common condition marked by accumulated basic calcium phosphate crystals within the rotator cuff tendons. Initial treatment typically involves nonoperative measures such as anti-inflammatory medication given orally or administered by injection, physical therapy, and, above all, extracorporeal shockwave therapy. If these methods prove ineffective, arthroscopic surgery would be recommended.


    • Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)

    While a full recovery can take weeks, months, or even years, the frozen shoulder is curable even without surgery. Arthroscopic surgery is considered for patients severely affected by stiffness or pain and unable to wait for the shoulder to resolve naturally.


    • Anterior and posterior instability

    If conservative treatment options fail to alleviate shoulder instability, shoulder stabilization surgery may be recommended. This procedure enhances joint function and stability while preventing recurrent dislocations. The advancement of arthroscopic equipment has facilitated the investigation and diagnosis of shoulder instability. At the same time, fixation techniques have progressed, elevating arthroscopy from an experimental approach to a primary mainstream treatment option.


    • Tendinitis of the long head of the biceps tendon

    Conditions affecting the long head of the biceps often accompany other shoulder issues. Diagnosis requires a thorough evaluation involving patient history, physical examination, and radiographic assessment. Surgical intervention becomes necessary for those with persisting or severe disease. Arthroscopic surgery involves a small arthroscope camera and specialized surgical instruments to precisely remove or reconstruct damaged soft tissue and remove disturbing bone spurs within or surrounding the shoulder joint.


    • Rotator cuff tears

    Consisting of muscles and tendons, the rotator cuff is vital for shoulder stability and arm mobility, enabling lifting and reaching movements. Injuries to the rotator cuff (e.g., tears) can occur suddenly or develop gradually due to repetitive activities. Aging can contribute to degeneration and tears in the rotator cuff. An arthroscopic repair can be conducted through small keyhole incisions, utilizing state-of-the-art technology and surgical instruments. This results in a minimally invasive approach and reduced soft tissue trauma, reduced recovery pain, and faster healing time than traditional open surgeries.


    • Cartilage damage, osteoarthritis

    Although cartilage is resilient and can resist heavy loads over time, it is vulnerable to damage from injury or overuse. Arthroscopy is a valuable tool for assessing the severity of cartilage damage, and it is commonly used for most cases of cartilage damage. This approach is also suitable for individuals with early-stage arthritis and some remaining cartilage. While this procedure does not cure arthritis or stop its progression, it can relieve pain and decelerate the degenerative process.

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    Dr. Helge Schmitz

    Dr. Helge Schmitz

    Consultant orthopedist and orthopedic surgeon