Duc M Nguyen, MD, FACS
Orthopedic Surgeon located in Redwood City, CA
You may need shoulder arthroscopy if you have damage to the tissues inside or around your shoulder joint, known as the rotator cuff. You can trust orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Duc M. Nguyen to perform this surgery successfully, so you regain optimal function in your shoulder joint. Men and women who have rotator cuff injuries can consult Dr. Nguyen at his offices in Redwood City, California. Call to make an appointment or use the online booking tool.
Shoulder Arthroscopy Q & A
What is the rotator cuff?
The group of muscles and the tendons that form a “cuff” over the shoulder joint is known as the rotator cuff. It’s responsible for holding the arm in your shoulder joint and enables it to move in multiple directions. Overuse or injury can cause tears in the tendons of the rotator cuff.
What is arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy uses a tiny camera inserted through a small incision to view the shoulder area. Dr. Nguyen then uses the arthroscope—the name for the camera—to examine and repair damage to the joint.
What should I expect during shoulder arthroscopy?
The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia, or local anesthesia with general sedation. Dr. Nguyen then makes a small incision in your shoulder into which he inserts the arthroscope. He can see images from the device projected onto a monitor in the operating room.
The surgery begins with inspection of the joint, including all the muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones, to determine what needs repair. Dr. Nguyen then repairs your damaged tissue, and this may require between one and three more incisions.
To repair the torn rotator cuff, Dr. Nguyen brings the edges of your torn tendon together and attaches them to the bone with sutures.
What should I expect after surgery?
Immediately after surgery, you’ll recover in the hospital and receive pain meds before you go home. As long as you’re in good health, you can go home the same day as the procedure. You’ll need a driver to take you home and to stay with you the first night to ensure you’re okay.
Recovery is relatively quick, compared to open surgery, but you’ll still have several weeks of downtime for your shoulder. You usually wear a shoulder immobilizer for up to 10 days after surgery to prevent unwanted movements of the joint as it heals. Dr. Nguyen and his staff provide you with a sling that supports your joint, and give you detailed post-surgical instructions so, you heal optimally. Rehab exercises and therapy is often a part of this prescription. How soon you can resume unrestricted activities depends on your health, your goals, and how your body heals.