What You Might Not Know About Shoulder Arthroscopy

If your doctor has recommended shoulder surgery, it means they want to diagnose and effectively manage problems within the joint. Getting arthroscopic shoulder surgery in West Chester is straightforward and only involves small incisions, unlike a traditional shoulder surgery. The procedure can be done as an outpatient treatment, and you can go home the same day. The recovery might take several weeks, but you can boost healing through physical therapy and exercises as instructed by your doctor. Let us dig deeper about shoulder surgery to keep you informed.


Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive procedure to diagnose and manage shoulder problems. Being minimally invasive means that only smaller incisions, the size of a keyhole, are involved. Your provider inserts a small camera into your body through a tiny incision. The arthroscope projects images of your shoulder, and your provider can examine the pictures to understand the source of your symptoms. If the shoulder needs repair, your provider will use small surgical tools to restore your mobility.

Why Shoulder Arthroscopy is Needed

As mentioned earlier, shoulder arthroscopy aims at helping your doctor diagnose and treat problems within your shoulder. It is mainly recommended to experience symptoms that fail to respond to conservative treatments like rest, medication, injections, and physical therapy. You might need shoulder surgery if you are enduring shoulder instability, rotator cuff tendonitis, rotator cuff tears, Osteoarthritis, labrum tears, frozen shoulder, bone spurs, or biceps tendon injuries.

What You Can Expect Before Surgery

You should schedule a consultation appointment with your doctor before going for shoulder arthroscopy. Your doctor evaluates your medical history and reviews your current medications and treatments to determine if you are good to proceed to surgery. You might have to stop using certain medications a few days before your operation. Also, you will receive special instructions about how you get prepared for your treatment, including how long you should fast before your treatment. Your provider might also order tests, including chest x-ray, blood tests, and an electrocardiogram to check your health.

What You Can Expect During Your Surgery

Your arthroscopic shoulder surgery will take less than an hour. You will be positioned in a semi-seated position with your arm placed in a holding to ensure it remains still. Your skin will be cleaned using an antiseptic, and you might be injected with a fluid that inflates your shoulder to help your doctor see your joint. Your provider will make a small hole in your shoulder to insert the arthroscope that projects images of your joint. Your provider will make other small incisions where treatment is required to insert the tiny instruments involved. All incisions will be closed once the treatment is over and covered with stitches or small bandages and a large bandage on top.


As mentioned earlier, shoulder arthroscopy can be performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home the same day to begin your recovery. Pain during recovery is expected as a natural part of healing. But your doctor will advise you on managing the pain as your body heals. Generally, your shoulder might take weeks or months to heal completely, but some symptoms like pain and swelling will fade away within a few weeks after your treatment. You might need to discuss a rehabilitation plan with your doctor to facilitate your recovery.

Learn more about shoulder arthroscopy from Beacon Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine experts. You can also book an online appointment if you think shoulder issues can be diagnosed through arthroscopic shoulder surgery.