Shoulder Arthroscopy

Shoulder Arthroscopy Video

Shoulder Arthroscopy

The purpose of this video is to inform you about shoulder arthroscopy and arthroscopic surgery, its risks, and its potential complications.

Shoulder Arthroscopy Video Transcription

The purpose of this video is to inform you about shoulder arthroscopy and arthroscopic surgery, its risks, and its potential complications. You will now see a video that will inform you what to know for your shoulder arthroscopy. This is an arthroscope. It is an instrument that allows us to look directly into a shoulder joint.

The main advantage of arthroscopy is that quick and accurate information can be obtained. Many problems can be corrected at the same time using the arthroscopic surgery. Only small incisions are required. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Complications are very infrequent.

As with any surgical procedure, there can be complications with shoulder arthroscopy. However, the incidence is relatively low. Some conditions can not be corrected, and repairs can re-tear. The shoulder can lose motion after surgery, and be weak. The risk of infection is less than 1%. Other injuries such as nerve injuries or anesthesia complications are rare, but can occur. There are other possible complications that are even more infrequent. Precautions are taken to prevent all complications, but it must be remembered that they can occur despite all safeguards. We must weigh the risks against the potential benefits and alternatives in making a decision about having surgery.

In this video, we will describe your preparation for the procedure, how the arthroscopy is performed, and what you should do afterwards.

Several days before the surgery, start washing the shoulder frequently with soap and water. The skin has to be very clean, You can’t have any scratches, pimples, sunburn, or poison ivy. You don’t have to shave the area. We will do that when you arrive.

On the day before surgery, check in with the doctor’s office to find out what time you should report the next day. It is very important that you have nothing to eat or drink after midnight on the night before surgery. You might want to put up a note as a reminder. Now let’s look at what you will do on the day of surgery.

The operation will be done either at Newton-Wellesley Hospital (200 Washington Street, Newton, MA), the New England Baptist Outpatient Care Center (40 Allied Drive, Dedham, MA), or at Boston Outpatient Surgical Suites (840 Winter Street, Waltham, MA). Please confirm the location with Dr. Gill’s office.

In the pre-operative area, the nurse or anesthesiologist will start an IV. You will then be taken in for surgery. You will wake up in the recovery room. Your arm will be in a sling. Remove the sling, and do pendulum exercises if instructed by Dr. Gill. How much you will be able to use the shoulder will vary depending on what type of surgery you have had, and what has been repaired. It is OK to remove the bandages, and shower in 2 days.

To summarize, please remember the following important points:

  1. Get the skin clean, and have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before the surgery. Please re-read the written instructions that you were provided, and which are available on After surgery, please make a follow up appointment in about 7-10 days. If you have any questions, please call Dr. Gill’s office at 781-251-3535.