Common Conditions that Require Shoulder Arthroscopy

  • Frozen Shoulder is a condition where the patient develops synovitis resulting in a contracture or tightening of the joint capsule, the tissue that makes up the joint space.  This contracture restricts motion.  To restore mobility the surgeon uses arthroscopy to release the contractures and scar tissue that are present.


  • Shoulder Impingement rotator cuff tendinitis is a condition where the rotator cuff becomes inflamed or abraded.  The overlying acromion is shaved down and smoothed  down to remove bone spurs and the bursa is débrided to eliminate the source of inflammation.


  • Shoulder Debridement can involve bone or soft tissue.  In an arthritic shoulder arthroscopy can be used to remove frayed cartilage or loose bodies that cause discomfort.  Debridement can also be performed on the rotator cuff or biceps tendon that has frayed or has formed calcium deposits.   Arthroscopy can be used to smooth rough surfaces or remove painful calcium deposits.


  • Acromioclavicular joint arthritis  painful arthritis where the collarbone meets the shoulder blade.  This condition can be treated by removing a small wedge of bone from the end of the collar bone.  This creates a space between the collar bone and the shoulder blade and helps prevent painful contact or grinding of these bones that occur with certain movements.


  • Biceps tendon disease is inflammation, fraying or tearing of the biceps tendon.  Half of the biceps muscle actually passes through the ball and socket joint as a thin tendon that glides in a boney groove during shoulder motion. If the tendon is damaged, this can be a significant source of shoulder pain.  Biceps problems are more common in patients that also have damage to the rotator cuff tendons.  Treatment of this problem involves either releasing the tendon (tenotomy) or reattaching the tendon (tenodesis) to a new spot.  Both are effective in treating biceps pain.  The decision to perform a tenotomy or tenodesis depends on the age and activity level of the patient and should be discussed with you by your surgeon prior to surgery.
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