Trauma or overuse can cause the shoulder’s soft tissues (ligaments, tendons, muscles and cartilage) to stretch or tear to the point where they can no longer provide the necessary support. A feeling of “looseness” may develop and the shoulder may “pop out” with some activities such as work, sports, or sleep.
Shoulder arthroscopy is performed under sterile conditions following an injection of a local anesthetic into the joint and/or general anesthesia.
A small incision is made to introduce a cannula with tubing attached. This tubing is connected to bags of saline used to irrigate and fill the joint space for better viewing. It also distends the joint space, allowing for easier passage of instruments. A second small incision is made to insert the arthroscope, which is attached to a camera and light source. These, in turn are attached to a video monitor to view and record the findings. Pictures may be taken and saved for later reference. A third incision may be made to introduce instruments for repair and to correct injuries. They may also correct tears and remove loose bodies.
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