Getting your shoulder repaired doesn’t require major surgery. One of Santa Monica, California’s top orthopaedic surgeons, Frank Petrigliano, MD, specializes in shoulder arthroscopy surgery at the USC Epstein Family Center for Sports Medicine, Los Angeles, California. He uses the arthroscope for multiple shoulder repairs and shoulder injury diagnostics, resulting in less recovery time and fewer scars.
The majority of shoulder repairs are done arthroscopically. This is often the preferred surgery choice, since it’s not as invasive as an open surgery, meaning you’ll probably feel better after surgery. Using the small arthroscope and surgical tools, Dr. Petrigliano can perform:
You likely are under general anesthesia for your procedure. Dr. Petrigliano may also administer a nerve block, which keeps your shoulder and arm numb during surgery, and for a while after the procedure is completed.
Once you’re under, he makes about 3-5 small incisions in your shoulder. Before starting the procedure, he fills up the area to be operated on with sterile fluid. This fluid expands your shoulder area, allowing him to see the area more clearly.
He places the arthroscope in one incision, while putting surgical instruments into the other incisions. The tiny camera on the tip of the arthroscope guides him. He watches a monitor to see precisely every move he is making with the surgical instruments.
After Dr. Petrigliano finishes diagnosing or repairing your shoulder injury, he stitches up the incisions. Then you are wheeled to a recovery room until the anesthesia wears off. Most patients go home the same day, but if your surgery is more complex, you might need to spend the night in the hospital.
Yes. It’s generally not possible to have a shoulder injury that’s “too big” to be done arthroscopically. Expert orthopaedic surgeons, like Dr. Petrigliano, often prefer to use an arthroscope, even for more severe rotator cuff repairs.
With an open shoulder surgery, Dr. Petrigliano only can see and repair the area around the incision. But the tiny camera at the end of the arthroscope provides a global view of the inside of your shoulder. This expanded view is much larger than the small area he sees if he opens your shoulder.
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