Private shoulder arthroscopy surgery in London

From the Greek words "arthro" (joint) and "skopein" (to look) the word "arthroscopy" literally means "to look within the joint." A tiny camera called an arthroscope is inserted into your shoulder joint by the surgeon during shoulder arthroscopy.

Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure which allows orthopaedic surgeons to see inside the joint and diagnose and treat shoulder problems.

Start your treatment journey today. For fast access to exceptional private healthcare at Schoen Clinic London, you can use your health insurance or simply fund your own treatment. Call the team direct on +44 20 4571 6508 or email us today.

Introducing the service

Since the 1970s, shoulder arthroscopies have been performed to inspect, diagnose, and treat problems inside the joint. Diagnoses, treatments, and postoperative recovery have become simpler and quicker over the years as new tools and procedures are created, leading to advancements in shoulder arthroscopy.

Shoulder arthroscopy may be advised by your Consultant if you have a painful problem that does not improve with nonsurgical therapy. Rest, physical therapy, and drugs or injections that reduce inflammation and promote the healing of wounded tissues are all examples of nonsurgical treatments. One of your body's typical responses to an accident or illness is inflammation. Inflammation can result in swelling, discomfort, and stiffness in a shoulder joint that has been damaged or sick.

The shoulder arthroscopies our leading London shoulder experts perform at Schoen Clinic London can be diagnostic or surgical. Our specialists have extensive experience in performing the procedure and use the latest techniques to deliver world-class treatment and optimal outcomes.

Start your treatment journey today. For fast access to exceptional private healthcare at Schoen Clinic London, you can use your health insurance or simply fund your own treatment. Call the team direct on +44 20 4571 6508 or email us today.

Understanding shoulder anatomy

The scapula (shoulder blade), clavicle (collarbone), and humerus (upper arm bone) are the three bones that make up the shoulder. The acromioclavicular joint, which is where the acromion, the highest point of the scapula, meets the clavicle, and the glenohumeral joint allow the shoulder to move.

Your shoulder blade has a rounded socket, the glenoid, which houses the head of the upper arm bone. Any anomalies within the glenoid socket can lead in joint instability, which may result in the condition known as "frozen shoulder."

Your arm bone is supported in the middle of your shoulder socket by a network of muscles and tendons we call the rotator cuff. They enclose the upper arm bone's head and connect it to the shoulder blade.

  • Bones. The scapula, clavicle and humerus are the main three bones of the shoulder joint. The coracoid process is a projection of the scapula and points out towards the front of the body, it's significant because the clavicle, shoulder joint, and humerus are supported by the muscles and ligaments of this bone.
  • Cartilage. Cartilage covers the scapula and humerus where the bones meet to form the glenohumeral joint (shoulder joint). This cartilage can be damaged, which can lead to painful, constrained, and irregular joint motion. The location and severity of injuries to the shoulder cartilage can vary.
  • Tendons. The deepest layer of shoulder muscles are joined to the humerus by a collection of four tendons known as the rotator cuff tendons. This is made up of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. As they insert on the proximal humerus, the rotator cuff muscles band together to form a musculotendinous cuff.
  • Biceps tendons. An extremely significant tendon that passes through the shoulder joint is the Long Head of Biceps (LHB). The biceps tendon starts in the glenoid, which is the top of the shoulder socket, and travels across the front of the shoulder before joining the biceps muscle. This is the muscle that weightlifters usually display.
  • Ligaments. Ligaments join one bone to another bone. There are four main ligaments in the shoulder joint: glenohumeral ligaments, coraco-acromial ligament, coraco-clavicular ligaments and transverse humeral ligament.

Start your treatment journey today. For fast access to exceptional private healthcare at Schoen Clinic London, you can use your health insurance or simply fund your own treatment. Call the team direct on +44 20 4571 6508 or email us today.

Who is the ideal candidate for shoulder arthroscopy?

The majority of shoulder issues are caused by injury, misuse, and aging-related wear and tear. The painful symptoms of several conditions that harm the rotator cuff tendons, labrum, articular cartilage, and other soft tissues around the joint may be relieved by shoulder arthroscopy.

If you are in pain and conservative (nonsurgical) therapies including rest, physical therapy, and drugs or injections that help decrease inflammation have not worked, your Consultant may advise shoulder arthroscopy. Inflammation, which produces swelling, discomfort, and stiffness, is a typical response to an injury or a joint condition.

Our shoulder specialists at Schoen Clinic are widely regarded as the best shoulder experts in London and the UK, often receiving international recognition.

Shoulder arthroscopy at Schoen Clinic London

A shoulder arthroscopy at Schoen Clinic London is done as a day case, so once you've recovered from the anaesthetic, you will usually go home on the same day. However, if your Consultant considers it is essential, they could advise you to stay with us for one night at our world-class hospital.

For a shoulder arthroscopy, a general anaesthetic is usually used so you'll be sleeping throughout the procedure. Our Consultant Anaesthetists are experts in managing pain during and after surgery, so while you are under general anaesthesia for the treatment, you will also be given a local anaesthetic to aid with shoulder pain management before you wake up.

Your surgeon might be able to perform your arthroscopy with a nerve block if you are unable to receive a general anaesthetic for any reason. To do this, local anaesthetic must be injected near the shoulder's controlling nerves and your arm goes entirely numb as a result. Despite being awake, you won't feel anything during the process. If you would want anything to make you sleepy and relax, ask your surgeon.

Start your treatment journey today. For fast access to exceptional private healthcare at Schoen Clinic London, you can use your health insurance or simply fund your own treatment. Call the team direct on +44 20 4571 6508 or email us today.

Common arthroscopic shoulder procedures include:

What happens during shoulder arthroscopy?

You may have the procedure while seated or while lying on your side.

Your surgeon will make a few tiny incisions in the skin surrounding your shoulder joint after the anaesthetic has taken effect. The arthroscope, which has a tiny camera on the end, will then be inserted via one of them. Your surgeon can use this to examine your shoulder joint. Your Consultant will inject the shoulder joint with a saline solution to prevent damage to nerves and blood vessels and they'll repair any injury to your shoulder using surgical tools if there is any damage at all.

Additionally, any damaged tissue that restricts your shoulder's correct motion and causes discomfort will be removed by your surgeon. After examining your shoulder joint and performing any necessary procedures, your Consultant will remove the camera and surgical instruments before the wound is closed with stitches, surgical strips and covered with an absorbent dressing.

The surgery usually lasts between 45 and 90 minutes.

After your shoulder arthroscopy 

You will be transferred to the recovery area following a shoulder arthroscopy procedure, where our skilled nursing staff will keep an eye on you until you have fully recovered from anaesthesia, which typically takes 45 to 2 hours. For the first several days following surgery, pain medication will be prescribed for you to take.

Although recovery following arthroscopic surgery is frequently quicker than from open surgery, it may still take several weeks or even months for your shoulder joint to fully recover depending on your exact treatment. The pain may last a little longer after major surgery than after minor surgery. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatories can be beneficial after that.

Everyone is affected by sedatives and general anaesthesia differently. You might discover that your coordination is a little altered or it's challenging to think as coherently as normal. Within a day, this should be resolved but it's best not to drive, consume alcohol, use machinery, or sign anything significant until then.

Always ask your doctor for advice if anything is worrying you.

Rehabilitation after shoulder arthroscopy

Rehabilitation plays a vital role in returning your quality of life. Our leading London shoulder specialists work as a multidisciplinary team with surgeons, physiotherapists, nurses and sports injury doctors to design your individually tailored rehabilitation programme to help you get there. It might take up to 48 hours after receiving a local anaesthetic injection for your shoulder's sensation to fully return.

Take extra caution not to hurt your arm since you might not be fully aware where it is. Following the procedure, you could get advice to keep your arm in a sling. Your shoulder will be kept in the appropriate alignment for optimum recovery and will be shielded from additional harm as a result. The length of time you must wear a sling will be determined by your surgeon. You’ll be provided with some early range-of-motion exercises to prevent joint stiffness and specific instructions on what to do and when, depending on your specific procedure.

Start your treatment journey today. For fast access to exceptional private healthcare at Schoen Clinic London, you can use your health insurance or simply fund your own treatment. Call the team direct on +44 20 4571 6508 or email us today.

Shoulder arthroscopy FAQs

After surgery, your shoulder joint may feel stiff and painful. It may be unpleasant for some individuals to lie down at night because it pulls on their shoulders. At first, you might discover that it is more comfortable to sleep propped up, either in bed or in a recliner.

You might find it a little difficult to dress and clean yourself initially, so having assistance from a spouse, family member, or friend will be beneficial.

When treating shoulder problems, an arthroscopic procedure is often an effective alternative to an open one. Nevertheless, arthroscopic surgery is not appropriate for all shoulder problems. Ask your Consultant to explain which option is best for you.

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery will enable your surgeon to view more inside surfaces of your shoulder joint than they otherwise could with a single, more significant incision. This will make it easier for them to identify the issue and formulate the best treatment plan.

Following shoulder arthroscopy, some potential side-effects include pain and stiffness around your shoulder, as well as little scars where the surgeon made tiny incisions to insert the camera and devices.

It is best not to drive until your Consultant has confirmed it is safe to do so. Following a shoulder arthroscopy, you may have transient muscular numbness, discomfort and stiffness that could compromise your ability to drive. This may be noticeable, especially if the surgery happened on your left shoulder and you drive a manual car. In some cases, your shoulder may need weeks or months to fully heal before you feel comfortable behind the wheel.

After surgery, you should prepare for some pain and discomfort for a few weeks. It might take longer for your discomfort to go away if you underwent a more involved procedure. Ice will reduce swelling and soreness and if necessary, your Consultant will recommend pain medication.

During the first six weeks following surgery, you shouldn't use your shoulder for reaching, lifting, pushing, or pulling and it is best not to use the surgical arm to reach behind your back. Several times every day, you can take your arm out of the sling to move your fingers and bend and straighten your elbow.

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