Top of the page
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 the incisions are 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 about 6 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.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter B569 in the search box to learn more about "Arthroscopic Surgery for Shoulder Instability: Before Your Surgery".
Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Robert B. Keller MD - Orthopedics
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
©2006-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.