In the late 1970s and early 1980s, arthroscopic surgery became popular, especially in the sports world, as fiber-optic technology enabled surgeons to see inside the body using a small telescope, called an "arthroscope," which projects an image to a television monitor. Thanks to ongoing improvements made by technology leaders like Smith & Nephew, arthroscopic surgery is now accessible to more people than just professional athletes. In fact, active patients all over the world have experienced the benefits of minimally invasive surgical procedures.
Through an incision the width of a straw tip, your surgeon is able to insert an arthroscope that allows him or her to inspect your joint and locate the source of your pain. The arthroscope can also help visualize tears or other damage that may have been missed by an X-ray or MRI. Your surgeon will then make one or more small incisions to accommodate the instruments used to repair the shoulder. These instruments can shave, trim, cut, stitch, or smooth the damaged areas.
Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is often performed in an outpatient surgery center, which means no overnight hospital stay is required. You report to the surgical center in the morning, undergo the procedure, and - following a recovery period under the care of medical professionals - return home later in the day.
After surgery, you will be transported to the recovery room for close observation of your vital signs and circulation. You may remain in the recovery room for a few hours.
When you leave the hospital, your arm will be in a sling. The sling should be worn for the amount of time recommended by your physician.
Steps for rehabilitation following rotator cuff surgery and instability repair vary from physician to physician. To learn what activities will be involved in your own rehabilitation, consult your doctor.