Conventional open surgery brings with it long healing times, rehabilitation, stays in the hospital, and the possibility of infection. Today, many shoulder conditions can be healed with less-invasive surgical procedures that mean you experience shorter and more comfortable recovery with great return to function.
What is minimally invasive surgery?
Minimally invasive shoulder surgery techniques use smaller incisions than traditional open surgery.
The doctors use an arthroscope, which is a long tube affixed with a camera, inserted into a small incision to view the injured joint and repair the tissues and structures surrounding it. Arthroscopic surgery allows doctors to see the shoulder joint without the large incision open surgery requires.
What conditions can minimally invasive shoulder surgery treat?
Minimally invasive surgery works on a number of shoulder conditions. The following are just some examples.
- Labral tears, which result in instability in the shoulder due to an injury or sometimes the aging process. Arthroscopic surgery can repair the torn cartilage.
- Rotator cuff injuries that cause pain and weakness. Arthroscopy can help if the rotator cuff was damaged during trauma or if the issue is due to natural wear and tear of the joint.
- Tissue inflammation or loose cartilage may be addressed with minimally invasive techniques. In many instances, the staff tries to resolve the problems with conservative approaches such as physical therapy and medication, but if these fail, arthroscopic surgery may be recommended.
- Shoulder instability that is causing regular dislocation. Minimally invasive surgery can tighten loose ligaments to provide you with a more integral joint.
- Bone spurs that are causing pain or putting your shoulder at risk of causing tendinitis or a rotator cuff tear may be removed with minimally invasive surgery.
- Bicep tendon injuries, in which the damaged tendon extends into the shoulder, are often successfully treated with arthroscopy, too. This tendon can be repaired or removed, depending on your particular condition.
Why pursue minimally invasive surgery?
Minimally invasive surgery is just as effective as traditional open surgery in resolving many shoulder injuries. The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, so you don’t have to spend the night in the hospital and can recover in the comfort of your home.
Because the incisions are small, you lose very little blood and scarring is minimal. You recover much more quickly from minimally invasive surgery, too, because there’s less trauma to the tissue in the area. This means you can get back to full function sooner.
Ultimately, the decision as to whether you’re a candidate for minimally invasive surgery is up to the expert doctors at Austin Shoulder Institute. They carefully review your case as well as your range of motion, your lifestyle, and imaging tests to determine if arthroscopy is for you.
If you have been diagnosed with an issue at your shoulder joint, come see the staff at Austin Shoulder Institute so they can help you determine the best course of treatment. If you need surgery, ask whether you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery to make the procedure as easy for you as possible.
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