2 Conditions That Benefit From Shoulder Arthroscopy

From waving Hello to eating a meal, your shoulders play no small role in your everyday life, which is made abundantly clear when something goes awry in these major joints. To regain the use of your arm and wave goodbye to pain, shoulder arthroscopy is the perfect all-in-one approach as we’re able to identify and treat the problem at the same time.

Our own board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Timothy Wilson, very much understands the value of shoulder arthroscopy and he and our team have successfully performed scores of these diagnostic and restorative procedures.

More specifically, our team has had great success in remedying two of the more common shoulder conditions through arthroscopy, which we review here.

A quick look at arthroscopy

The advent of arthroscopy about 50 years ago has changed the way we approach musculoskeletal issues of all kinds. At the heart of arthroscopy is our ability to see inside your joint without opening up the area. 

To do this, we use a tiny specialized camera and light, which Dr. Wilson threads through a small incision in your shoulder. This camera feeds us real-time, 3D images of the structures inside your shoulder joint, allowing us to accurately identify the source of your shoulder issue.

Going a step further, Dr. Wilson can also thread small, specialized instruments inside your joint and, using the camera to guide him, perform the necessary repairs.

Now that we better understand the incredibly valuable role that arthroscopy can play, let’s take a look at how this technique can restore function and alleviate pain in your shoulders.

Rotator cuff tears

Your shoulders are ball-and-socket joints that attach your upper arms to your body. The socket component in your shoulder is rather shallow, which is why your arms enjoy such a wide range of motion. 

To make up for some of the instability that comes with a shallow socket, each of your shoulders features a group of four muscles that come together as tendons called your rotator cuff. This group of strong tissues holds the head of your upper arm bone (humerus) inside the socket located in your shoulder blade and allows you to lift and rotate your arm.

If you suffer a tear or rupture in your rotator cuff, which usually stems from overuse and repeated stress, not only can you experience pain, but your ability to move your arm freely is compromised.

With shoulder arthroscopy, Dr. Wilson can evaluate the damage to your rotator cuff and perform the necessary repairs so that you can regain strength and range of motion in your shoulder.

Labrum tears

As we mentioned, the sockets (glenoids) in your shoulder joints are quite shallow — in fact, the head of your humerus is typically too large for this depression. To make up the difference, each of your glenoids contains a ring of cartilage around its edges called your labrum. This soft tissue  deepens your sockets by up to 50%, providing the added depth your humerus needs to remain stable.

If you tear this tissue, which usually occurs on the heels of acute trauma, you can be left with a painful shoulder that’s more prone to dislocation.

With shoulder arthroscopy, Dr. Wilson is able to assess the extent of the tear and repair your labrum, which should restore stability to your arm (not to mention relieve your pain!).

As you can see, arthroscopy plays an extremely important role in helping us both evaluate and remedy two of the major problems that can affect your ability to use your shoulders freely and painlessly.

If you have more questions about shoulder arthroscopy, please don’t hesitate to contact our office in Lexington, Kentucky, to learn more.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Your Treatment Options for a Meniscus Tear

We’ve diagnosed you with a meniscus tear and you’re, quite literally, wondering about your next steps. Here, we explore some of the treatments for repairing a meniscus so that you better understand your options.

Does a Torn ACL Mean that I'll Need Surgery?

You’ve torn your ACL and you’re wondering whether surgery is the best path forward for restoring function to your knee. To make an informed decision, there are a few points you should consider.

What To Do If Your Kneecap Frequently Dislocates

Your knees are complex joints and they rely on all components working together for optimal function. When a problem like recurrent kneecap dislocation crops up, you want to put everything back in its place, once and for all.

Six Types of Fractures

A broken bone is just a broken bone, right? Not so fast. There are different kinds of fractures, which dictates how we go about treating the problem. Here’s a look at the six most common types of fractures.

7 Benefits of Knee Replacement Surgery

The total number of knee replacement surgeries in the United States is expected to grow by a whopping 189% by 2030. One of the primary reasons behind this huge increase is because this joint replacement surgery works.

What is a Meniscus?

Complex load-bearing joints, like your knees, are made up of many parts that all need to work together. When something goes wrong in one area, such as your meniscus, the entire joint is compromised.