Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to effectively treat many shoulder problems, including instability, rotator cuff tears, AC joint arthritis and labral tears. At The University of Vermont Medical Center, our fellowship-trained surgeons perform a high volume of these surgeries every year, making us one of the most experienced teams in the region.
Shoulder Arthroscopy in Burlington, VT
Our surgical team cares for a wide range of patients, from athletes suffering from shoulder injuries to older patients with chronic, degenerative conditions.
Features of our care include:
Personalized care - We are committed to reducing your pain and improving our function. We use a minimally invasive approach whenever possible, which means less pain and lower risk of infection. In some cases, a more traditional open approach may be used. Our team has extensive experience performing both types of surgery.
Experienced team - Our surgeons are all fellowship trained, with experience in routine procedures as well as complex operations. We treat the full spectrum of shoulder conditions, from fractures to arthritis to shoulder instability. We have experience performing advanced procedures such as revision surgery, for patients whose previous surgeries did not offer relief.
Focus on research and technology - Our team is committed to staying current with the latest procedures and technological advancements. In addition, we conduct research regarding the most effective methods for treating shoulder conditions. Our surgeons proudly provide care to the athletic teams at the University of Vermont.
Shoulder Arthroscopy: Am I a Candidate?
You may be wondering if you are a candidate for shoulder arthroscopy. Common indications for this procedure include:
- AC joint arthritis
- Rotator cuff tears. The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons surrounding your shoulder joint.
- Shoulder instability, including shoulder dislocations
- Glenoid labrum tear. The glenoid is the socket joint of the shoulder. The labrum is a supporting tissue surrounding the glenoid.
- Cartilage injuries
- Certain fractures
If we recommend shoulder arthroscopy for you, we will discuss the procedure with you in detail, including what to expect during the procedure and the rehabilitation process.
Shoulder Arthroscopy: What to Expect
Your surgeon will discuss any pre-operative instructions with you. While each patient's surgery may be different, here is a general idea of what you can expect. We will:
- Give you anesthesia: general (so you are asleep the entire time) or regional (you stay awake but your arm and shoulder are numb).
- Make small incisions around your shoulder.
- Insert the arthroscope, a thin, tube with a camera attached to the end, into the incision. The arthroscope connects to a video monitor so we can see high-resolution, real-time images of the operating area.
- Inspect the tissues of your shoulder joint, including your cartilage, rotator cuff tendons and ligaments.
- Repair or remove damaged tissues using the instruments using specialized instruments.
- Remove the instruments and arthroscope and close the incisions.
Shoulder Surgery: Rehabilitation
After your surgery, you may need to wear a sling for a period of time. Full recovery time depends on the nature of the procedure performed.
- Physical therapy can be very beneficial for regaining full shoulder function. At The UVM Medical Center, we plan an individualized rehabilitation program for you. You may complete the physical therapy onsite at our facility. Our surgical team works closely with the physical therapy team to ensure that your rehab plan meets your needs and you are recovering successfully.
- Pain medicine may be necessary immediately after surgery. Your doctor will discuss this with you before you leave the hospital.
- When you can return to work or sports depends on your specific surgery. We will discuss your recovery plan with you.
Find a physician at The UVM Medical Center or call us at 802-847-2663.