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Risks and Benefits of Shoulder Arthroscopy

Ortho Blogs

Risks and Benefits of Shoulder Arthroscopy

If you have injury to your shoulder that came from damage or from inflammation, then you may need to have a shoulder arthroscopy surgery, a minimally invasive alternative to repair the shoulder and restore its regular movement. This procedure makes use of a very small device called an arthroscope. This device can be placed in your shoulder with a very small incision. Then the damage to the shoulder can be reviewed and small tools can be used to repair the damage.

If you are considering shoulder arthroscopy, then you will need to know the risks as well as its benefits.


There are always risks to any type of surgical procedure. Some of the risks may be more minor than others, but you definitely need to be aware of them before making a decision. Here are the risks to shoulder arthroscopy.

  • Stiffness is the most common risk. You may experience stiffness for a certain amount of time or for the foreseeable future. This is usually caused by scar tissue that forms in the area. If you suffer from stiffness, it can be eased with physical therapy.
  • Weakness. You may not have the same strength level in that arm after the procedure. However with physical therapy, a great deal of this weakness can be rectified.
  • Nerve Damage. This is considered one of the more major risks. Damage to the nerves in the shoulder can cause issues with your arm and hand. Usually the nerve damage is temporary, but it can cause permanent complications.
  • Infection. As with any surgery, there is always a chance of infection.

As always, you need to know the risks of any surgical procedure that you may need to undergo. However, the benefits could greatly outweigh the risks.


There are definite benefits to choosing shoulder arthroscopy. Not only will you gain the benefits of a repaired shoulder, but also the arthroscopic procedure itself is much more beneficial than choosing standard types of invasive surgeries.

  • The minimal invasiveness of the procedure will allow for quicker healing when compared to more serious surgeries.
  • Arthroscopy allows for less scarring and scar tissue so that you will have better movement in your arm and shoulder.
  • You will be able to regain more use from your arm and shoulder when compared to living with the damage or inflammation that was hindering it.
  • Arthroscopic procedures cause minimal blood loss. This allows for less bruising and pain during recovery.

As with any surgery, there are risks and benefits associated with your procedure. You should discuss them with your doctor thoroughly before you undergo your surgery.

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