If you are living with shoulder pain caused by injury, infection or other underlying conditions in your shoulder, your consultant may recommend a shoulder arthroscopy.

What is a shoulder arthroscopy?

A shoulder arthroscopy (also called keyhole shoulder surgery) is used to investigate or treat issues and pain within the shoulder by allowing your surgeon to get a better view of the inside of the joint without the need to fully open it up. 

A thin tube with a camera is inserted through small incisions in your skin around the shoulder joint, allowing your surgeon to identify what is causing you pain. They should usually be able to treat some problems within the joint at the same time, such as repairing or removing torn tissue with surgical instruments.

Are there any alternatives to a shoulder arthroscopy?

Problems inside a joint can often be diagnosed using tests such as CT and MRI scans. However, you may then need an arthroscopy to treat the problem.

An arthroscopy is a much less invasive surgical procedure than others, with a shorter recovery period.

What does a shoulder arthroscopy involve?

The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about forty minutes.

Your surgeon will usually make about two to four small incisions around the joint. They will place a thin telescope (camera) through one of the cuts so they can examine the joint and place surgical instruments through the other incisions if they need to treat any problems with the joint.

Shoulder surgery at The Horder Centre

Presented by Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Jamie Buchanan, this video offers advice on shoulder pain and the surgery options available.

Watch video

What complications can happen?

General complications

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Unsightly scarring

Specific complications

  • Bleeding into the joint
  • Infection in the joint
  • Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of the arm and hand (complex regional pain syndrome)
  • Damage to nerves
  • Blood clot in the axillary vein near your armpit

Information leaflet

This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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Guide price for self pay patients

Arthroscopic sub-acromial decompression and excision of distal clavical

  Consultation Diagnostics Treatment Care after discharge
Hospital costs Included From £350 £3550 Included
Consultant costs From £220 Included Included Included
Estimated total cost  £4120 *
Estimated length of stay  1 night
*The guide price is correct as of 2nd March 2017

What's included

The prices in the table above (the “Guide Prices”) show what most patients should expect to pay at each appointment and prior to admission for their procedure. The Guide Prices you pay might be different depending on your medical history and the type of implant you choose or your Consultant advises is best for you. Your price quotation will be made clear to you before you proceed with any tests, consultations or treatment.

Finance options available

To make private healthcare more accessible, we have introduced a finance option so that patients can spread the cost of their treatment over a period of time.

Horder Healthcare works with Zebra Health Finance to offer approved customers Finance Options, enabling you to get back on your feet and back to normal life as soon as possible.

Zebra Health Finance offers finance plans to suit your individual budgets:

  • Representative 0% APR up to 6 months
  • Representative 16.9% APR from 12 to 60 months
  • Simple and quick application process
  • Once approved, the loan money is paid directly to Horder Healthcare

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Copyright © 2019 EIDO Healthcare Limited
The operation and treatment information on this webpage is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by the Horder Centre. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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