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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Shoulder ArthroscopyArtroscopia del hombro

Shoulder Arthroscopy

The shoulder is your body's most flexible joint. It is designed to let the arm move in almost any direction. But this flexibility has a price-it makes the joint prone to injury. If you have a shoulder problem, a surgical procedure called arthroscopy can help.

Your Orthopaedic Evaluation

Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and the history of your shoulder problem. Your shoulder will be examined. And diagnostic tests, such as an x-ray or an MRI, may be done. These help your doctor find the cause of your shoulder problem.

Doctors and patient
A camera in the arthroscope allows your surgeon to view your shoulder joint on a monitor.

Arthroscopy: Looking Inside Your Joint

Arthroscopy allows your doctor to see and work inside your shoulder joint through small incisions. A long, thin, lighted instrument called an arthroscope is used. During surgery, the arthroscope sends live video images from inside the joint to a monitor. Using these images, the doctor can diagnose and treat your shoulder problem. Because arthroscopy uses much smaller incisions, recovery is often shorter and less painful than recovery after open surgery.

Risks and Possible Complications of Shoulder Arthroscopy

  • Stiffness or ongoing pain in your shoulder

  • Bleeding or blood clots

  • Infection

  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels

Publication Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Online Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2005-04-05T00:00:00-06:00