Procedure, CPT Code and Recovery Time of Shoulder Arthroscopy

Submitted on March 27, 2012

The shoulder joint is the joint where the upper arm joins with the torso of the human body. The shoulder joint is particularly strong as it is capable of carrying weights, sometimes in excess of the individual’s body weight. The shoulder joint is made of many different tendons and ligaments. There are many sporting pursuits that may result in shoulder injuries, particularly throwing related sports like baseball. Racquet sports are also often responsible for shoulder injuries.

Shoulder Arthroscopy Procedure

A shoulder arthroscopy is used to determine the nature of the injury within the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint may be scanned using MRI scanning or CT scanning. These scans, along with X-ray scans, will highlight various important details of the joint relating to its structure and to any damage that may have occurred within the joint. However, none of these scans can provide the most detailed image that may be needed for the proper diagnosis of the joint and its problems. The shoulder arthroscopy is a procedure where a small incision is made through which a scope is passed. This scope is passed into the shoulder joint to transmit live images to a screen. These images are used to determine the exact nature of the joint and any damage that has occurred to the joint.

A shoulder arthroscopy may also be used to actually perform repairs to the affected area. Surgical tools may be inserted into the joint along with the scope to conduct some repairs and to remove any damaged parts which can then regenerate. This adds to the scope of the shoulder arthroscopy procedure and to its effectiveness in dealing with shoulder problems. The shoulder arthroscopy procedure is usually conducted under local anesthesia, although general anesthesia may be used if the doctor deems it necessary.

CPT Codes and Recovery Time

The shoulder arthroscopy recovery time depends on whether the injury requires surgery or not. If the shoulder arthroscopy procedure is performed with surgery, then the shoulder arthroscopy recovery time will be longer; usually up to six months before full pain-free mobility can be resumed. For injuries that are capable of healing themselves, the shoulder arthroscopy recovery time should be in weeks rather than months.

The recovery from the actual procedure of shoulder arthroscopy takes just a few days as the incision wound will heal by then. This should not be confused with the recovery time for the joint to heal itself as that time depends entirely on the injury. Other concerns like shoulder arthroscopy cost, shoulder arthroscopy CPT codes and so on could be discussed with your doctor on an individual basis.