Arthroscopy is keyhole surgery. A surgeon is able to look inside your shoulder using a tiny camera. Small incisions are made to the shoulder area, then the camera and surgical instruments are used to diagnose and treat the problem.

A general anaesthetic is often used and the operations take around three quarters of an hour. Usually, between two and four small cuts will be made around the shoulder joint, then a small telescope is fed through one of the cuts enabling examination of the joint.  Surgical instruments are placed into the other incisions to treat any problems.

Usually you will be discharged the same day as the operation. You may be given exercises and advice to help you recover sooner, but full recovery can take up to 3 months. It may take time for the pain to reduce and mobility to increase. Most patients will see a vast improvement but symptoms can return.

What are the alternatives to surgery?

Scans (CT and MRI) can be used to diagnose problems, but often an arthroscopy would still be advised to treat the problem.