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Orthopedic Shoulder Surgery: The Benefits Of Shoulder Arthroscopy

Orthopedic Shoulder Surgery: The Benefits Of Shoulder Arthroscopy

Your shoulder is incredibly flexible, providing a broad range of motion, allowing your arms to be able to rotate in all directions. Common shoulder joint injuries include bursitis, frozen shoulder, tendinitis, osteoarthritis, and rotator cuff tears. In some cases, shoulder pain can be treated non-surgically with rest, ice or heat, or some form of medication. There are times when orthopedic surgery is necessary, but with innovative medical advances such as arthroscopic examination, mild to moderate injuries can be treated effectively. The benefits of shoulder arthroscopy are multifold, with the biggest advantage being that it has less impact on your body, and your life in general than open orthopedic surgery.

The Benefits of Arthroscopic Orthopedic Surgery

Your shoulder joint is vulnerable to damage by injury, arthritis, and certain health conditions. The pain and inflammation associated with the shoulder joint can affect every aspect of your day-to-day functioning. Orthopedic surgeons prefer to initially consider non-surgical treatment methods such as physical therapy or medication before recommending you consider orthopedic surgery. In some cases, delaying the surgical repair of your shoulder joint can exacerbate the injury and make it more difficult to treat later on. In the case of unresolved, and unexplained shoulder pain, it may be necessary to consider orthopedic surgery options such as an arthroscopy to assist with diagnosis and treatment. If you are experiencing pain, limited mobility, or noticeable physical abnormalities in your shoulder, you may be wondering how a shoulder arthroscopy might be beneficial. Here are some key benefits of arthroscopic surgery: 

Small Incisions
A shoulder arthroscopy allows surgeons to make small incisions just big enough for a scope with a light to be inserted. The scope projects images on a monitor so that the surgical team can examine and repair certain kinds of shoulder joint damage. This powerful camera shows exactly where the damage is, the extent of injury, and helps the surgeon determine the next steps in your treatment. The small incisions tend to leave minimal scarring, making this a preferable approach to open surgery, which requires much larger incisions. 

Diagnosis And Repair In One Procedure
Sometimes the examination will uncover an issue that can be treated during the procedure. Another incision can be made for a tool to perform cartilage and ligament repairs, or remove bone spurs, for example.

Lower Risks, Shorter Recovery
Arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive, meaning surgical risks are usually lower than open surgery, and complications tend to be rare. Pain and swelling is substantially reduced compared to open surgery, due to minimal impact on surrounding, healthy tissues. Risk of infection, surgical risks, and complications due to blood loss are minimal. Finally, an arthroscopic orthopedic surgery can usually be done as an outpatient procedure, and the recovery period will be shorter than traditional surgery. 


Orthepedic Surgery In Kelowna

Shoulder surgery is a complex yet highly efficient method of repairing any joint injuries. Our specially trained and dedicated surgeons are extremely capable of repairing any shoulder joint impairments safely and expertly to ensure that you experience minimal postoperative stiffness and pain and an overall faster return of function. If you have any of the following symptoms, it may indicate it is time to consult your local orthopedic surgeon:

  • Intense pain, even with no movement
  • Pain that radiates from your shoulder 
  • Difficulty in raising your arm, or reaching in a specific direction
  • Popping or snapping sounds in your shoulder

If you are experiencing shoulder joint pain which is not responding to non-surgical treatment, it is advisable to book a consultation to determine if an arthroscopy is the right choice for you. The orthopedic surgeons at our Kelowna private hospital will provide early, correct diagnosis, and effective treatment that will make a significant difference to your overall health and lifestyle in the long run. To book your complimentary consultation call us at 1-250-868-9799 or fill out the contact form.



Q: What is the recovery period like after orthopedic surgery on my shoulder?
A: To ensure the treatment successfully restores joint function, it is important to follow your surgeon’s advice during your recovery period. 

  • Rest whenever you feel tired, and ensure you have adequate, quality sleep. 
  • Your doctor may prescribe pain medication to reduce discomfort, along with care instructions such as when to ice your shoulder, and when to check back for a follow-up visit.
  • If your arm and shoulder are uncomfortable, you may want to keep a thin pillow under your arm when you lay down. 
  • Walking increases blood flow, and promotes healing, however, avoid heavy lifting for a couple of weeks. Be cautious about activities requiring repetitive movements, such as housework, computer use, or writing. 
  • Initially, the shoulder must be protected from overuse or stressing the repair while the shoulder heals using a sling and a recommended rehabilitation program. 

Many patients who undergo arthroscopic procedures feel comfortable long before the procedure site fully heals, probably because they were spared from large incisions and dissection through the muscle tissues. Recovery of comfort and function following shoulder procedures may continue over a few months depending on the nature of the issue, and the extent of the repair.

Q: How long does it take to recover from shoulder arthroscopy?
A: The standard answer to this question is 4-6 weeks of recovery, but the length of time can vary based on the extent of injury, and your physical condition prior to the procedure. Perhaps the best thing about a shoulder arthroscopy procedure is that you get to go home the day of the surgery. Directly after surgery, you’ll spend a couple of hours in a recovery room for observation before being discharged. You’ll need someone to drive you home and spend the night, but you can recover at home. Patients may experience pain for a few weeks post-surgery, and may have to wear a sling to protect the shoulder for the first couple of weeks. Physical therapy may help you ease postoperative stiffness, regain motion, and rebuild strength in your shoulder. Some patients are able to return to sports or regular physical activities in just a few months. 

Q: Are there risks associated with orthopedic shoulder surgery?
A: The risks and complications of an arthroscopic procedure are minimal and occur in less than one percent of all arthroscopic surgeries. However, some possible risks and complications of arthroscopic surgery may include:

  • Infection
  • Swelling or bleeding
  • Blood clots 
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels
  • Anaesthetic-related concerns

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