Shoulder Arthroscopy Types and Complications

Shoulder Arthroscopy Types and Complications

Your shoulder problems can get a reprieve with the shoulder arthroscopy. It is the minimally invasive surgery that examines or repairs the tissues in/around the shoulder. The procedures use an arthroscope, the tiny camera, to inspect the shoulder joint. So, it is inserted into your skin through the small incisions by your surgeon. The incision is very small (about one centimeter), so it can heal quickly. Depending on the specific surgery, your surgeon decides the exact number of incisions. Subsequently, the shoulder arthroscopy is preferred for its low tissue damage and fast healing.

Shoulder Arthroscopy Types

you can differentiate the shoulder arthroscopy into different types depending on the diverse conditions. So, the minimum invasive procedure can solve a number of shoulder problems like:

Rotator Cuff Tears

The arthroscopy for the treatment of rotator cuff tears is opted by many orthopedic surgeons. The surgeons make small incisions on the skin around the deltoid muscle. It provides access to all parts of the rotator cuff. Hence, it minimizes the injuries and does not affect the deltoid muscle function.

Arthroscopy For Shoulder Instability

The arthroscopy can resolve the issue like SLAP tears and Bankart tears that come under the Labral tears. It is important for you to follow the post-operative rehab protocol to get relief.

Subacromial Decompression

Sometimes the condition known as impingement syndrome (shoulder bursitis) becomes difficult to cure with simple treatment methods. Therefore, the arthroscopic procedure known as subacromial decompression can overcome the problem. During the procedure, the surgeon removes the inflamed bursa. The surgery also removes the bones around the rotator cuff tendons that is irritated. With the removal of the tissue, it offers more space for the inflammation to subside.

Biceps Tendonitis

Biceps tendonitis is the arthroscopic procedure to relieve the symptoms of the inflamed and irritated biceps tendon. The bicep tendon can suffer from inflammation due to rotator cuff tears, impingement syndrome or isolated events. So, it results in the damage of biceps tendon resulting in pain and discomfort. Though the procedure can relieve the discomfort but makes no functional difference.

Arthroscopy For Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder rarely requires invasive surgery. But, when the need for surgical treatment arises, arthroscopy is an ideal choice.

AC Joint Arthritis

The arthroscopy is effective in relieving the AC joint arthritis symptoms. With the surgical procedure, the damaged end of the clavicle is removed.

Complications Of Shoulder Arthroscopy

The shoulder arthroscopy is a safe surgical procedure with minim risks. But, complications can occur that you need to consider before undergoing the surgery. Therefore, the possible complications can include:

Skin Infection

Every surgery has the potential skin bacterial infections. Shoulder surgeries are not exempted from it. The common skin bacterial skin infection includes strep and staph. In some rare cases, Propionibacterium acne can cause shoulder infections.

Nerve Injury

The increased number of major nerves around the shoulder joint can pose a risk with the shoulder arthroscopy. Though it is rare, it can result in nerve injury. The risk increases with the shoulder surgery to the labrum or capsule. So, the shoulder arthroscopy can lead to the nerve injury as the instruments working on the shoulder joint can do harm. The insertion of instruments can cause problems to the shoulder joint.

Frozen Shoulder

The shoulder surgeries can cause stiffness. The shoulder arthroscopy can lead to the shoulder joint stiffness. The immobilization required for the healing can result in the shoulder stiffness. So, the restricted use of the shoulder joint results in the development of the condition known as frozen shoulder.


Shoulder arthroscopy can lead to a rare, but potentially serious problem known as Chondrolysis. The problem can cause the early progression of joint arthritis. It is an issue for young people who get treatment for the athletic injury as they are more prone to the issue. Chondrolysis can cause permanent problems to people trying to recover from the athletic injury as it leads to severe cartilage damage.

Head And Neck Problems

The locations of the joint can pose risk for the surgeons during the surgery. Though a surgeon takes precaution, it may not limit the complications. The poor positioning can cause injuries to the joints.

The surgical technique used since 1970 has seen a vast improvement over the years. Today, the shoulder arthroscopy uses innovative techniques and sophisticated instruments to make the surgery faster and easier with minimum risks. It is the best method for the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from the shoulder surgery.