Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat various problems in the shoulder joint. It involves the use of a small camera, called an arthroscope, and specialised surgical instruments. During the procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions around the shoulder joint and inserts the arthroscope. The arthroscope is connected to a video monitor, allowing the surgeon to see the inside of the joint clearly. This provides a detailed view of the structures within the shoulder, such as the bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
When is Shoulder Arthroscopy Surgery Recommended?
Dr Rajesh Malhotra recommends shoulder arthroscopy surgery in cases where a patient experiences persistent shoulder pain or has a specific condition or injury affecting the shoulder joint. This minimally invasive surgical procedure involves using a small camera called an arthroscope, which is inserted through small incisions in the shoulder, allowing the surgeon to view and repair the joint. Here are some common conditions and situations where shoulder arthroscopy surgery may be a recommendation for you:
- Rotator cuff tears - When the tendons of the rotator cuff in the shoulder become torn, causing pain, weakness, and limited mobility, arthroscopic surgery may be recommended to repair the tear.
- Shoulder impingement syndrome - This condition occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff become compressed or pinched between the bones of the shoulder joint. Arthroscopy can be used to remove or repair the structures causing the impingement.
- Labral tears - The labrum is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder socket. A tear in the labrum can lead to shoulder instability and pain. Arthroscopy can be used to repair or remove the torn labrum.
- Shoulder instability - If the shoulder joint is prone to dislocation or feels unstable, arthroscopy may be used to tighten or repair the ligaments and tissues that hold the joint together.
- Shoulder arthritis - In some cases of shoulder arthritis, arthroscopy can be used to remove loose fragments of cartilage or bone within the joint to reduce pain and improve mobility. However, for advanced arthritis, other surgical options like joint replacement may be more appropriate.
- Frozen shoulder - Arthroscopy can be used as a treatment option for frozen shoulder when conservative treatments like physical therapy and medication have not been effective.
Advantages of Shoulder Arthroscopy
Here are some advantages of shoulder arthroscopy surgery:
- Minimally invasive - One of the key advantages of shoulder arthroscopy is that it is a minimally invasive procedure. It requires only a few small incisions rather than a large open incision, resulting in less trauma to the surrounding tissues. This leads to reduced pain, minimise scarring, and faster recovery compared to traditional open surgery.
- Accurate diagnosis - Arthroscopy allows for a clear and detailed visualisation of the inside of the shoulder joint. The arthroscope provides high-definition images that enable the surgeon to accurately diagnose the underlying cause of shoulder pain or dysfunction, such as rotator cuff tears, labral tears, or joint instability. This helps in developing an appropriate treatment plan.
- Therapeutic treatment - Shoulder arthroscopy not only provides a diagnostic benefit but also allows for therapeutic interventions. During the procedure, the surgeon can repair or reconstruct damaged structures within the shoulder joint. This may involve repairing torn tendons, removing loose bodies or damaged cartilage, stabilising the joint, or addressing other issues contributing to shoulder pain or dysfunction.
- Reduced complications - The minimally invasive nature of shoulder arthroscopy reduces the risk of complications associated with traditional open surgery. The smaller incisions result in less bleeding, decreased risk of infection, and lower chances of nerve damage or excessive scarring. Additionally, the shorter recovery time and reduced postoperative pain contribute to an overall lower risk profile for the patient.
- Shorter recovery time - Compared to open surgery, shoulder arthroscopy typically involves a shorter recovery period. The smaller incisions cause less tissue damage, leading to reduced pain and swelling. Patients can often begin rehabilitation exercises and regain shoulder function earlier, allowing them to return to their normal activities sooner.
- Outpatient procedure - In many cases, shoulder arthroscopy can be performed on an outpatient basis, meaning the patient can go home on the same day as the surgery. This eliminates the need for a hospital stay, reducing healthcare costs and improving patient convenience and comfort.
- Versatility - Shoulder arthroscopy is a versatile procedure that can be used to address a wide range of shoulder conditions. It can be employed for diagnostic purposes, as well as for various therapeutic interventions, including rotator cuff repair, labral repair, subacromial decompression, and shoulder stabilisation. The ability to perform multiple procedures through small incisions makes it a valuable tool in the hands of a skilled orthopaedic surgeon.
It is important to note that shoulder arthroscopy offers many advantages. However, its suitability for each case should be determined by a qualified healthcare professional. Dr Rajesh Malhotra considers factors such as the specific shoulder condition and the patient's overall health to determine the most appropriate treatment approach.
What Happens During Shoulder Arthroscopy?
During a shoulder arthroscopy in Delhi, the following steps typically occur:
- Anaesthesia - The patient is given either general anaesthesia, which puts them to sleep, or regional anaesthesia, such as a nerve block, to numb the shoulder area.
- Incisions - The surgeon makes small incisions, usually about ¼ to ½ inch in length, around the shoulder joint. These incisions are called portals.
- Arthroscope insertion - The arthroscope, a thin tube with a light and a camera on the end, is inserted through one of the portals. The camera transmits images from inside the shoulder joint to a monitor in the operating room, allowing the surgeon to see the structures clearly.
- Inspection and diagnosis - The surgeon examines the various structures within the shoulder joint, including the bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and synovium. They can assess the damage or abnormalities and make a diagnosis based on their findings.
- Treatment - Depending on the specific condition, the surgeon may perform various procedures during the arthroscopy. Some common treatments include:
- Repairing tears - If there are any tears in the tendons or ligaments, the surgeon can use tiny surgical instruments inserted through additional portals to repair or suture the tears.
- Removing loose bodies - If there are loose fragments of bone, cartilage, or other tissues within the joint, the surgeon can remove them.
- Debridement - In cases of inflammation or damaged tissue, the surgeon may use special instruments to remove or smooth out the affected areas.
- Synovectomy - If the synovium, which is the lining of the joint, is inflamed or diseased, the surgeon may remove it.
- Stabilisation - If the shoulder joint is unstable, the surgeon may perform procedures to tighten or repair the ligaments and improve stability.
- Closure - After the necessary procedures are completed, the surgeon removes the arthroscope and any additional instruments from the portals. The incisions are typically closed with sutures, staples, or small adhesive strips.
- Recovery - The patient is taken to the recovery area, where they are monitored until the effects of anaesthesia wear off. They may be given pain medication and instructions for post-operative care, including exercises and rehabilitation.
Shoulder Arthroscopic Surgery Cost in Delhi
Shoulder arthroscopic surgery cost in Delhi can vary depending on various factors, including the hospital or clinic, the surgeon's experience, the complexity of the procedure, the type of anaesthesia used, and any additional tests or medications required. It is best for you to consult Dr Rajesh Malhotra to get accurate and up-to-date information about the cost of shoulder arthroscopy surgery in Delhi. He can provide you with a detailed breakdown of the expenses involved.
Risks Associated with Shoulder Arthroscopy Surgery
While shoulder arthroscopy is generally considered a safe procedure. However, like any surgical intervention, it carries some risks and potential complications. It is important to discuss these risks with Dr Rajesh Malhotra before undergoing the surgery. Some of the potential risks associated with shoulder arthroscopy include:
- Infection - Although rare, there is a risk of developing an infection at the site of the incisions or within the shoulder joint. Precautions are taken to minimise the risk of infection, such as sterile techniques and antibiotics.
- Bleeding - Some bleeding can occur during or after the surgery, leading to the formation of a hematoma (collection of blood). Most cases of bleeding are minor, but in rare instances, a larger hematoma may require drainage.
- Nerve or blood vessel damage - There is a slight risk of injury to nerves or blood vessels near the surgical site. This can result in temporary or, in rare cases, permanent numbness, weakness, or other sensory or motor deficits.
- Shoulder stiffness - Following surgery, some patients may experience shoulder stiffness or loss of range of motion. This can be managed with appropriate post-operative rehabilitation and physical therapy.
- Blood clots - There is a small risk of developing a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis) in the leg or a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that travels to the lungs). Precautions, such as early mobilisation and blood-thinning medications, may be taken to minimise this risk.
- Adverse reaction to anaesthesia - Some individuals may have reactions to the anaesthesia used during the procedure. These reactions can range from mild side effects to more serious complications. Anaesthesia risks should be discussed with the anesthesiologist prior to surgery.
- Failure to resolve symptoms - In some cases, the desired outcome may not be achieved, and the symptoms may persist or recur. This can happen if the underlying condition is more complex than initially anticipated or if the surgery is not fully successful.
It is crucial for you to keep in mind that the majority of shoulder arthroscopies are successful and complications are relatively rare. Dr. Rajesh Malhotra will evaluate your specific case, discuss the risks and benefits with you, and take appropriate measures to minimise the same.