Understanding Shoulder Arthroscopy and the Need for an Orthopedic Surgery Expert Witness
The tendons and muscles connecting your shoulder joint to your arm are integral for the ease of movement. Injuring or damaging the joint or the muscles can be a painful ordeal, but shoulder arthroscopy is an effective treatment.
This treatment includes insertion of a small camera through a small incision to analyze the damaged or injured tissues to determine the right procedure. Although this surgery is highly effective, it has in some cases, caused further injuries which have had led to medical malpractice cases.
For many Shoulder Surgery malpractice or personal injury cases, a Shoulder Surgery Expert Witness is needed to review and testify the medical files.
Dr. Scott Powell is an expert orthopedic surgeon with 30+ years of practical surgery experience. He has more than 15,000 orthopedic surgeries under his belt, and as an orthopedic expert witness, has reviewed 100+ orthopedic malpractice cases, taken part in 50+ depositions, and testified in 20 trials. Contact Dr. Powell If you need an Shoulder Surgery Expert Witness.
What is Shoulder Arthroscopy?
Shoulder arthroscopy is an orthopedic procedure to treat the injury or damage to the shoulder joint muscles or tissues. The shoulder joint has a rotator cuff, which comprises of tendons and muscles that hold your arm and aid the movement of your shoulder.
Internal and external injuries and overuse can result in lesions, tears, and other damages that require immediate shoulder arthroscopy treatment.
Here are the most common shoulder arthroscopy procedures:
Rotator Cuff Repair
In a shoulder scope rotator cuff repair, additional incisions for other surgical instruments are made. A tear in the muscle is repaired by bringing the torn edges together and then sutured. If there is a problem with the tendon, small rivet or suture anchors are used to re-attach it to the bone.
Impingement syndrome involves tendonitis or inflammation in the tendons around the shoulder joint. While mild cases can be treated with non-surgical methods, surgery is recommended in severe cases.
During this procedure, additional incisions are made to pass instruments to aid the removal of inflamed or damages tissue. In some patients, a growth called spur underneath the acromion is also shaved.
This surgery is usually for advanced arthritis of a shoulder joint, but also conducted for treating complicated fractures and other issues that can’t be treated through other procedures. In a usual shoulder replacement procedure, the ball and socket of the shoulder is replaced with an artificial metal ball and plastic socket.
If only the top bone of the arm is broken or if the socket is still in working condition, a partial replacement is sufficient to treat the problem.
Other Shoulder Arthroscopy Procedures
Here are the other reasons for a shoulder arthroscopy include:
- Torn or damaged biceps or bicep tendons
- Damaged cartilage ring or ligaments
- Shoulder instability (loose joint prone to becoming dislocated)
- Bone spurs causing pain
- Inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis
- Other forms of arthritis in the shoulder region
- Loose tissue
Once the surgery is complete, the orthopedic surgeon will close the incisions with sutures and then dress the surgical site.
The shoulder surgery recovery time vary from person to person. It is mostly dependent on different factors, including weight, age, and general health of the patient.
Shoulder Arthroscopy FAQs
Recovery post shoulder arthroscopy can last up to 6 months. It changes from person to person and the severity of the tear or damage that was repaired.
Most patients typically don’t have problems after shoulder surgery. However, there is a risk with any surgery as with any other invasive procedure. If a patient does face problems, these could be due to the anesthesia, the surgery itself or general.
There is a risk of an allergic reaction, post-op breathing problems, blood clots, nerve injury, internal bleeding, and infection. These risks are associated with any type of surgery. Added risks that come specifically with shoulder arthroscopy include:
- Failure to address symptoms
- Weakness in the shoulders
- Damage to surrounding tissues or cartilage (chondrolysis)
- The repair doesn’t heal
- Stiffness in the shoulders or frozen shoulder
Even though it doesn’t happen frequently, botched shoulder surgery is a possibility when proper shoulder arthroscopy rotator cuff repair protocol is not complied with. It dictates negligence from the surgeon’s side, and can potentially cause long-term complications and negative implications for the patient.
The symptoms of a botched shoulder surgery are prolonged weakness and/or pain, instability in the shoulder joint, unusual stiffness, nerve injury, failure of the shoulder to heal, etc. are all possible symptoms.