Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat various shoulder conditions. It involves the use of an arthroscope, which is a small camera attached to a thin, flexible tube. The arthroscope is inserted through small incisions in the shoulder to visualize the inside of the joint.

During shoulder arthroscopy, the surgeon can examine the structures within the shoulder, including the cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and surrounding tissues. This allows for a detailed assessment of the shoulder condition and identification of any abnormalities or injuries.

Here are some common uses of shoulder arthroscopy:


Arthroscopy helps in diagnosing the cause of shoulder pain, instability, or limited range of motion when the specific condition is not evident through other imaging techniques. It provides a direct view of the joint, allowing the surgeon to evaluate the condition and determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

Rotator Cuff Repair:

Arthroscopic techniques are commonly used to repair torn rotator cuff tendons. The surgeon uses specialized instruments to access the torn tendon and reattach it to the bone using sutures or anchors. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair offers advantages such as smaller incisions, reduced trauma, and faster recovery compared to open surgery.

Labral Repair:

The labrum is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder socket (glenoid). It provides stability to the joint. Arthroscopy can be used to repair a torn labrum, such as in cases of labral tears caused by shoulder dislocations or repetitive shoulder movements.

Subacromial Decompression:

This procedure is performed to alleviate symptoms of shoulder impingement syndrome, where the rotator cuff tendons get pinched between the acromion (part of the shoulder blade) and the humeral head. During arthroscopy, the surgeon can remove or reshape the acromion to create more space for the tendons, reducing impingement and relieving pain.

Removal of Loose Bodies:

Arthroscopy allows for the removal of loose fragments of cartilage, bone, or other debris within the shoulder joint. These loose bodies can cause pain, catching, or locking sensations in the shoulder.

Treatment of Shoulder Stiffness:

Arthroscopic techniques can be used to release tight or contracted joint capsules and ligaments, allowing for improved range of motion in cases of adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) or other causes of shoulder stiffness.

Shoulder arthroscopy is generally considered a safe procedure with fewer risks and complications compared to open surgery. It typically requires smaller incisions, resulting in less pain, faster recovery, and minimal scarring. However, as with any surgery, there are still potential risks such as infection, bleeding, nerve or blood vessel damage, or adverse reactions to anesthesia.

The specific details and techniques used during shoulder arthroscopy will vary depending on the individual patient’s condition and the surgeon’s approach. It’s important to consult with an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder arthroscopy to evaluate your specific case, discuss the potential benefits and risks, and determine the most appropriate treatment plan