Also called shoulder arthroscopy, shoulder scopes involve using small incisions and a thin fiber-optic camera to navigate the joint and fix the problem. It is an alternative to traditional open surgery.

What is a Shoulder Scope?

A shoulder scope, or shoulder arthroscopy, is a procedure where a surgeon uses small incisions and a tiny camera to see inside your shoulder joint. This allows them to fix issues with minimal invasion.

Who should have a Shoulder Scope?

You might need a shoulder scope if treatments like rest, therapy, or medication haven’t worked. Your doctor will decide based on your shoulder’s condition, imaging from an MRI, and their experience if a shoulder scope or an open shoulder surgery is necessary.

Does a Shoulder Scope work?

Shoulder scopes are successful for 90-95% of patients. They offer smaller scars and quicker recovery times compared to open shoulder surgery. Risks include reactions to anesthesia reaction and infection may still apply, and possible shoulder stiffness can occur, but this is usually managed with physical therapy post-surgery.

What can I expect when I have a Shoulder Scope?

You may need a pre-surgical physical to make any necessary accommodations based on your health history. On the day, you’ll speak with your surgeon and anesthesiologist. You’ll be under general anesthesia and likely won’t stay overnight, but you will need someone to drive you home.

Will I need to wear a sling?

Yes, after surgery, you’ll wear a sling to stabilize your shoulder for 2-6 weeks, depending on your specific surgery. Your care team will guide you on continuing shoulder care and any next steps.

How will I start to regain strength in my shoulder?

Physical therapy should start soon after a shoulder scope to help you regain strength, stability, and flexibility in your shoulder.

Will I need to miss work after a shoulder scope?

Depending on the work that you perform, time away can vary after any shoulder arthroscopy procedure. For most office workers, it’s typical to need 1-2 weeks off for recovery.