Shoulder Arthroscopy in New York City
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique, commonly performed in sports medicine, that utilizes fiber optics to give orthopedic surgeons a greater field of vision when operating on shoulders, hips, knees, and many other joints. Sports medicine specialists prefer arthroscopy to open surgery methods because its minimally invasive nature allows athletes to get back on the playing field faster than ever before. Commonly performed arthroscopic surgeries include, but are not limited to: ACL reconstruction, meniscus repair, and rotator cuff repair.
Shoulder arthroscopy is usually performed to treat sports injuries, such as damage to the labrum or the rotator cuff muscles located on the shoulder blade. Because the shoulder is a relatively unstable joint, it is common during high contact sports for athletes to sustain an injury. Arthroscopy allows patients to return to their previous levels of activity in a matter of weeks.
The shoulder joint is made up of the humerus (upper arm bone) and the scapula (shoulder blade). The head of the humerus connects to the glenoid, a cavity located on the scapula, to create a ball-and-socket joint with the head of the humerus fitting snuggly inside the glenoid. A piece of cartilage called the labrum lines the outside of the joint to provide stability.
A shoulder arthroscopy procedure is performed very similarly to knee arthroscopy. The surgeon incises the shoulder to insert the arthroscope, which provides a greater field of vision and additional light for the surgeon to accurately perform the procedure. After inserting the arthroscope, the surgeon performs the procedure through a second small incision. The surgeon can then remove any loose fragments of tissue or cartilage in the area and repair the affected components.
Shoulder arthroscopy is performed most commonly for the following treatments:
- Rotator Cuff Repair
- SLAP / Labrum Tear Repair
- Impingement Syndrome
- Shoulder Instability
Rotator Cuff Repair & Shoulder Arthroscopy Treatment
The rotator cuff is a set of muscles and tendons that cover the humerus, and allow the shoulder joint to rotate and raise the arm. Additionally, the rotator cuff provides strength and stability to the shoulder joint by attaching to the ball of the shoulder joint.
Rotator Cuff Tear
Rotator cuff tears are common sports injuries, commonly sustained through repetitive overhead motions in sports such as pitching a baseball, serving in tennis, or swinging in golf. Symptoms of rotator cuff tears include pain lifting or lowering the arm, weakness when rotating the arm, as well as a "cracking" sensation when moving the arm in certain positions.
Rotator cuff tears are typically treated arthroscopoically, in which the surgeon is able to see and operate within the joint without making a large incision. In an arthroscopic shoulder surgery, the orthopedic surgeon will make a small incision to insert an arthroscope, a fiber-optic camera that sends video imaging from within the shoulder joint to a computer monitor. In a second incision, the surgeon will insert the operating instruments, roughly the size of pencils, to perform the operation.
Because arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive by nature, the surgical procedure has benefits beyond traditional open surgery, such as reduced blood loss, quicker rate of recovery, and minimized scarring. Athletes undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery for rotator cuff repair often heal within four to six weeks.
Arthroscopic Excellence in New York City
Dr. Haar specializes in a variety of orthopedic conditions, and is considered an arthroscopic specialist by his peers in the New York City region. When surgery is indicated for patients who cannot be treated through conservative treatment methods, such as physical therapy or an anti-inflammatory medication regimen, Dr. Haar prefers minimally invasive surgical techniques.
Find out more about Dr. Haar's Upper East Side office to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive consultation.