Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a procedure used to diagnose and treat issues with pain and immobility around the shoulder joint. During a shoulder arthroscopy, a surgeon uses a small camera to see inside the shoulder joint without making a large incision. The surgeon may repair tendons, remove inflamed or damaged tissue, and shave bone spurs through small incisions made around the joint. For most patients, the surgery will eliminate the sources of their shoulder pain and mobility issues.
Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is usually performed by an orthopedic surgeon. You will be under general or regional anesthesia for the surgery and you will not feel pain. Most shoulder surgeries are outpatient but some physicians may advise an overnight stay. Since it’s less invasive than traditional shoulder surgery, shoulder arthroscopy allows the patient to have a quicker recovery – anywhere from one to six months, depending on the injury and extensiveness of the surgery required. (The recovery for open surgery can take up to nine months to a year.) You should be able to return to work in about a week. However, you will likely need to wear a sling to support your arm for the first month.
Are there alternatives to arthroscopic shoulder surgery?
If your doctor tells you that you need a shoulder arthroscopy, it’s usually because you’ve tried non-surgical treatments (such as ice, heat, stretching, anti-inflammatories, and steroid injections) without success. There are two alternatives to arthroscopic shoulder surgery. However, you’ll want to check with your doctor to see if either is a good option for you.
- Open shoulder surgery – Arthroscopic shoulder surgery may not offer the visibility required to repair injuries in patients with a great deal of damage in their shoulder. Traditional open surgery, while more invasive than arthroscopy, allows a greater field of view and better access to the bones and tissues in need of treatment. However, this surgery is typically associated with longer, more difficult recovery times.
- PRP/Stem Cell procedures – Another approach to healing damaged shoulder tissue involves Stem Cell or Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy. Using these biological materials in the injured areas is thought to take advantage of your body’s ability to heal itself. This type of therapy is often used to treat tendonitis.
The type of procedure you get will depend on your personal health and your doctor’s recommendations. If you have questions about your arthroscopic shoulder surgery, you can always ask your doctor why they’re recommending the procedure. Also, if you’re unsure about their recommendations, feel free to get a second opinion.
How can you find a fair price on arthroscopic shoulder surgery?
The price of your arthroscopic shoulder surgery will depend on many factors. These can include the city that you live in, where you choose to have your surgery done, and whether or not you have insurance. New Choice Health has compiled cost information from healthcare facilities across the country to help you determine what you should pay for your surgery. Use our arthroscopic shoulder surgery cost information page to find a fair price for your surgery today.