Arthritis of the shoulder can be an excruciatingly painful condition and the advanced stage can also result in reduced movement in the affected shoulder joints. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder can affect the two major joints in the shoulder, the acromioclavicular joint and the glenohumeral joint. Osteoarthritis can be both primary and secondary. Primary Osteoarthritis may not have any specific cause and it is mostly seen in women over the age of 50. But secondary osteoarthritis is often due to causes like previous injury, history of shoulder dislocation, infection or rotator cuff tears.

Debridement is a procedure by which the dead or infected skin tissue or any foreign material from tissue is removed in order to help a wound heal better. Debridement can minimize scarring and also reduce complications of infections. Debridement done arthroscopically has been found to be effective to remove tissue in the shoulder joint that has been damaged from arthritis. It has also found to help decrease pain and improve shoulder range of motion in the case of rotator cuff arthropathy except for those with Hamada classification of Grade 4 or 5. In the case of shoulder arthritis, debridement surgery may be a better alternative to a total shoulder arthroplasty, a hemiarthroplasty or Resection arthroplasty.

Pain is the most common symptom of shoulder arthritis and this gets worse over a period of time. If the glenohumeral shoulder joint is affected with arthritis then the pain almost like a deep ache will be felt at the back of the shoulder. And if the AC joint is the part affected the pain will be on the top of the shoulder and can also radiate along the side of the neck. Limited range of motion, stiffness or clicking noises in the shoulder (crepitus) are other symptoms associated with shoulder arthritis.

In the minimally-invasive shoulder debridement surgery for treating arthritis, the surgeon uses a small camera, called an arthroscope, which is inserted through the small incisions made on the shoulder joint. The surgeon then injects fluid into the space around the shoulder socket to expand the joint to get a better view. Using other arthroscopic tools, the surgeon can begin to repair any damage. The bone spurs are filed down and the loose or damaged cartilage can also be removed.

Once the debridement procedure is complete the incisions are closed with sutures and the shoulder is bandaged. The patient may be prescribed pain relievers and can leave the hospital on the same day as the procedure. As the procedure is minimally invasive it allows for faster healing when compared to the more serious surgeries. Arthroscopic debridement also allows for less scarring and scar tissue. By opting for this procedure those living with the damage and inflammation caused by arthritis will find a huge relief from the pain. They will also be able to regain better function of their arm and shoulder. As the whole procedure is done arthroscopically there will only be minimal blood loss, less bruising and less pain during the recovery period.

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