Arthroscopic surgery for shoulder instability repairs a shoulder that is unstable and slips in and out of its socket. This can cause pain. It can also limit how well you can move your shoulder.
To do the surgery, the doctor puts a lighted tube through small cuts (incisions) in your shoulder. The tube is called an arthroscope or scope. Next, the doctor puts some surgical tools in the scope to help make needed repairs. Then he or she stitches the incisions closed. You will have scars, but they usually fade with time.
Most people go home the same day of the surgery. You will wear a sling for a few weeks.
You may be able to do easy daily activities in 2 to 3 weeks. Just don't use your affected arm. Most people who work at desk jobs can go back to work at this time. But if you lift, push, or pull at work, you will probably need 3 to 4 months off.
Most people can start to do activities that have a low risk of shoulder injury in about 3 months. Jogging is one example. If you play sports, training may also start at this time. Most baseball or softball players can start to toss a ball lightly. But it may take 6 to 12 months to return to normal throwing. How long it takes depends on how damaged your shoulder was. It also depends on how well your rehabilitation (rehab) program goes.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
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