According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for every 10,000 employed people in the U.S., workers missed over 100,000 days of work from shoulder injuries. It’s not hard to see why since in many lines of work, from retail to construction to waiting tables, having stable, strong, and functional shoulders is integral to doing your job.

Could a shoulder arthroscopy help relieve shoulder pain and limited mobility? Can it help you get back to work and enjoy life? Here’s what you need to know about how arthroscopic surgeries do just that.

What is a shoulder arthroscopy?

You might have noticed that arthroscopy includes the word “scope” like that found in “microscope” or “telescope.” The term “arthroscopy” actually refers to the little camera that Dr. Coleman uses to both view the affected area to determine the extent of the damage during the diagnosis phase and to guide the procedure in which he repairs the injury.

Because the camera is so small, an orthopaedic surgeon can perform the procedures through several tiny incisions rather than having to “open you up” as would be the case in many surgeries. This means less risk of infection, faster recovery time, and improved patient outcomes when arthroscopic surgery is the best choice for the job.

What conditions does arthroscopic surgery treat?

While some shoulder surgeries will require an open technique because of the nature of the damage, Dr. Coleman successfully treats many shoulder injuries and ailments with arthroscopic techniques. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Frozen shoulder
  • Biceps tendon disease
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Shoulder Impingement
  • Bone spurs
  • Labrum repairs

If you’re experiencing pain or stiffness in one or both of your shoulders, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Coleman to determine what’s causing the pain. He may recommend imaging tests like an MRI to ultrasound to determine what he’s working with before scheduling you for the first part of the procedure.

How does Dr. Struan Coleman do an arthroscopy?

A surgeon chooses arthroscopy when it’s an option because of the minimally invasive nature of the procedure. After administering anesthesia of which the type varies, your doctor makes a small incision in which he inserts a tiny fiber-optic camera attached to a flexible tube that he can safely guide into the area where it can view the shoulder tissue and capture images that the doctor views to plan a course of action. After the initial procedure is complete, Dr. Coleman discusses his finding with you during a consultation. You can then schedule the surgical portion of the procedure during which he repairs the shoulder when you’ll have adequate time afterward to heal properly.

What can you expect after a shoulder arthroscopy?

Shoulder arthroscopic surgeries can:

  • Restore range of motion.
  • Prevent further tearing of the shoulder, which may occur if the injury goes untreated.
  • Reduce, but most often, eliminate the pain caused by the injury.
  • Improve shoulder strength and integrity. The surgery doesn’t actually improve muscle tone, but with the shoulder restored, you’ll have greater stability and joint leverage for lifting and moving.

Dr. Coleman sends you home with a complete list of care instructions for the shoulder and incisions, which will likely include doctor’s orders that include avoiding lifting anything heavier than a dinner plate and keeping the shoulder stable to reduce the risk of reinjuring your shoulder as it heals for at least two to three weeks. In some cases, you may need physical therapy after this procedure to fully recover your function.

If you’re suffering from a shoulder injury, don’t wait until the pain becomes unbearable. Feel more confident at home and at work with a stable, pain-free, and fully functional shoulder. A shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive and highly effective procedure to treat shoulder injuries. Contact the practice to schedule an appointment.

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