Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery technique that may be used to treat patients with subacromial bursitis. A few small incisions are made around the joint to allow a camera and various instruments to pass through. These instruments are used to visualize the anatomic structures and remove the inflamed bursa.
Why shoulder arthroscopy
A shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves making a few small incisions (roughly 0.5 inch each) around the shoulder joint. These small portals allow a camera to enter the joint for visualization of the internal structures of the shoulder, as well as tools to repair any injuries. With a subacromial bursectomy, a shaver removes the bursa sac under the acromion. If a subacromial spur is present, this is also removed with a device called a burr.
- This surgery is most often performed under general anesthesia with a nerve block, but can be performed with a nerve block and sedation.
- This surgery is usually outpatient, which means the patient will be able to go home the same day.
- The surgery typically lasts 1.5 hours.
- Patient will be fit for a sling at an appointment in clinic before surgery and will need to bring the sling to surgery.
- The incisions will be closed with absorbable suture with dressings that can usually be removed 2-3 days after surgery.
- The sling will be placed on the patient prior to waking up from anesthesia.
Why Shoulder Arthroscopy for Subacromial Bursitis
- Decreases shoulder pain that was caused by the inflammation
- Restores shoulder range of motion and function
- Regain shoulder strength
- Return to work, sport, and activities with confidence
- Patients with persistent pain and dysfunction that fail conservative treatment of anti-inflammatories, steroid injection, and formal physical therapy
Recovery following a subacromial bursectomy is generally fairly simple. Most often, patients will be placed in a sling for 2 weeks after surgery and then may wear it for comfort after that. They are able to increase shoulder range of motion as tolerated 2 weeks after surgery. Physical therapy will be prescribed to help restore shoulder range of motion and strength. Physical therapists follow a protocol that Dr. Faulkner outlined himself. Physical therapy and home exercises are a critical part to a patient’s outcomes and quality of life after surgery. The patient should expect to continue to improve with range of motion and strength up to 6 months after surgery, with most of the gains occurring within the 3 months. The patient should plan on being seen in clinic about every 6 weeks for 3-4 months after the surgery for close monitoring and to ensure any questions are answered.
2 weeks, but the sling only needs to be worn for comfort. The sling should be removed at least 3x/day for elbow, wrist, and finger range of motion exercises. You should do pendulum exercises 3x/day as well.
No. Driving with a sling is considered driving impaired and could be subject to a citation.
Yes. Patients are usually unaware of their arm movements at night. The sling helps to ensure that the arm stays in a good position for healing.
Physical therapy typically starts 2 weeks after surgery.
2 days after surgery. Once you remove the bandages, you will see 3 sticky white strips covering the wounds. These are called steri-strips and should be left in place until your first postoperative appointment.
The ice machine should be used for about 30 minutes at least 3 times a day until your first postop. You may ice more frequently if desired.
An anesthetic injection performed by the anesthesiologist to turn off pain signals that go to a targeted region.
This will be discussed at your preop appointment. If a narcotic is prescribed, the risks and side effects will be reviewed with you. We encourage you to try and discontinue these by your first postop appointment. Depending on your health history, you may be encouraged to take anti-inflammatories and Tylenol instead of the narcotics.
The overall risk of a complication is less than 1%. The most common risk is shoulder stiffness from scarring. Other more rare risks include infection, bleeding, and persistent pain.