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The term ‘‘arthroscopy’’ has been universally adopted by the medical community and derives from the Greek language. It is a compound word whose second element originates from an ancient Greek verb that signifies ‘‘observe or examine’’. In fact, arthroscopy is a surgical procedure during which orthopedic surgeons inspect, diagnose and repair injuries located on the inside of the joint.
Shoulder arthroscopy has been performed since the 1970s, however continued improvement of the employed surgical instruments, as well as the applied techniques, occurs almost every year. Advantages of shoulder arthroscopy, in comparison to open surgery, include minimized tissue damage as a result of fewer incisions, reduced postoperative pain, a decrease in the displayed stiffness of the joint, and a faster return to daily activities.

Arthroscopy of the shoulder gridle is performed in order to repair rotator cuff tears or biceps tendon tears, treat shoulder impingement syndrome and instability of the joint (loose joint that frequently slides out of place or is dislocated), remove and treat inflamed tissue or damaged cartilage, as well as treat acromioclavicular arthritis.

A small camera (arthroscope) is inserted inside the shoulder through a small incision, in order for the surgeon to examine the damaged area around and above the joint, and subsequently the joint tissue, cartilage, bones, tendons and ligaments. Arthroscopic surgical instruments are inserted through one or maximum three small incisions, and the surgical procedure is performed to repair injuries of the muscles, tendons or cartilage. If deemed necessary, the damaged tissue is removed. Sutures are used to repair the muscles, whereas tendons are connected to bones with the help of small screws (anchors) that are either metallic or plastic.

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