Shoulder Arthroscopy

Shoulder arthroscopy is also known as key hole surgery.  Instead of making large incisions to perform the operation, 4mm (1/4") incisions are used instead.  This is now possible because of the development of advanced technologies which can allow the surgeon to perform the surgery accurately and safely.  The small incisions used in arthroscopic surgery mean it is less painful and the there is less scarring after surgery,  meaning you will be able to recover more quickly and go home the same day.

The telescope uses a fibre optic light source and is attached to a camera; the image is projected on a high resolution monitor with great magnification.   A full inspection of the joint and the bursa is performed to confirm the diagnosis and to check for other problems.   Through other small incisions special instruments are used to perform the operation when required.

 See video - click shoulder -Diagnostic arthroscopy

Because the operation uses water to see inside the joint the wounds will leak a little fluid which will be absorbed by cotton wool dressings, which are removed a few hours after surgery. The ward nurses will change your dressings and should give some waterproof dressings to take home with you, so that you can bath or shower keeping the wounds dry. The ward physiotherapist will show you some simple exercises for you to do until you see your own therapist. They will also show you how to manage the sling. You will be given these before leaving hospital. You will be given a sling which will protect your shoulder and help with pain relief. You can go home the same day after seeing the physiotherapist who will give you exercises to do.
It is essential that you take the pain-killers and anti-inflammatory tablets given to you by the hospital regularly before the local anaesthetic or nerve block wears off. It is important that you take the medication as instructed on the packet; this may mean that you have to set the alarm and take them during the night. If you have had a general anaesthetic you will need to be driven home and should not drive for 24hours after treatment. You will also need someone to stay with you overnight after the surgery.
Mr Hearnden's secretary, will contact you by phone two to three days after surgery to confirm your follow up appointment .