Shoulder surgery / arthroscopy

Despite best imaging examinations possible (e.g., MRI, CT, X-ray), the functionality of single structures of the shoulder can sometimes only be properly examined within a diagnostic shoulder arthroscopy. Damaged parts of the shoulder can also be treated surgically within the scope of the shoulder arthroscopy.

Surgery on the shoulder is normally carried out using a small camera, which enables the surgeon to evaluate the inside of the shoulder on a monitor display. Through the very small incision, surgeons can perform surgery at the same time.

General advantages of minimally invasive shoulder surgery and shoulder arthroscopy

During arthroscopic shoulder surgery, only small incisions of about 0.5-1 cm (~0.2-0.4 in) are necessary. Because of that, healthy tissue is not damaged, the risk of infections is reduced and the cosmetic results are more appealing. A minimally invasive surgical procedure like this is easy on the body and less painful.

Advantages of minimally invasive shoulder surgery and shoulder arthroscopy in short

  • minimally invasive
  • better cosmetic results
  • reduced risk of infections
  • short periods of hospitalization and recovery
  • diagnostics and treatment are possible within the same procedure (arthroscopy)

Disorders/injuries treated

We treat the following disorders/injuries of the shoulder:

How is surgery performed?

Before surgery, relevant orthoses (e.g., sling) are customized at our ward. Generally, general anesthesia is required for shoulder surgery. The surgery takes about 20 minutes to 2 hours. Most shoulder surgeries are followed by a hospitalization of one to two days. Minor shoulder surgery can also be undergone as outpatient treatment.

Impingement syndrome

Arthritis, muscle imbalance and overtaxing can cause an impingement syndrome of the shoulder, which is a relative narrowness within the acromion. The bursa can be inflamed, and the muscles of the shoulder can be irritated. During arthroscopy, the narrowness and the inflamed bursa are removed. This can be an inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Injury of the biceps tendon

The long biceps tendon also runs through the shoulder joint. It can be damaged by an acute injury or if it is chronically overburdened. The tendon can simply be divided (tenotomy) or divided and anchored at another, less damaged/irritated location. The surgical procedure to be performed depends on the patients´ age and their sports ambitions.

Shoulder instability, separated shoulder, SLAP injury

Given shoulder instability, injured structures (labrum, SLAP) are dealt with a gentle arthroscopic anchor technique.

The AC joint is stabilized arthroscopically with the specific TightRope® technique, utilizing specialized threads and plates.

Aftercare of all stabilizing surgery procedures includes the immobilization of the treated area with a sling/orthosis.

Rotator cuff injury

The head of the upper arm bone (humerus, the ball) is very large compared to the acetabulum (socket) of the shoulder and grants the shoulder a great mobility in comparison to other joints of the human body. This imbalance in size has to be harmonized by a complex muscular cuff. Four muscles build the rotator cuff together, which stabilizes the head of the humerus. Tendons of these muscles can completely or partially tear due to acute injury or chronic overburden.

The tears are repaired arthroscopically, using specialized anchor systems, if possible. Larger tears, sometimes, require an open surgery technique with a small incision in order to get a stable suture.

Aftercare and rehabilitation minimally invasive shoulder surgery / shoulder arthroscopy

In case of a hospitalization, physiotherapy and rehabilitation measures are carried out in the evening of the surgery day or in the following morning. A close cooperation between surgeons, anesthetists, physiotherapists and nurses grants a quick recovery after surgery.

Before being discharged, patients receive a clear, organized scheme for the physician and physiotherapist who take care of them after shoulder surgery.


Return to work after minimally invasive shoulder surgery / shoulder arthroscopy

How long you are not able to work after shoulder surgery, depends on the specific type of surgery. Generally, it is about two to six weeks. Subject to your occupation, we will be glad to advise you on suitable measures of early re-integration.

Return to sports activities after minimally invasive shoulder surgery / shoulder arthroscopy

It depends on the kind of surgery, injury and the individual condition of a person how long it lasts until sports activities can be resumed. Your surgeon has great experience in sports medicine and supports you in resuming your sports activity (return to play).

Within the scope of the sports medical movement analysis (Functional Movement Screen, Y Balance Test), we detect asymmetries and imbalances and help you avoid injury and improve your performance.

Safety and success rates

Every surgical procedure has a risk. This is why we talk to you extensively about the specific kind of shoulder surgery you will undergo, general and individual risks and non-surgical options for you prior to surgery if they are promising.

Thorough examinations (ultrasound, X-raying, CT, MRI) at the highest level possible play a crucial role at Beta Klinik in making a valid diagnosis and choosing the individually suitable type of surgery.

Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, given a correct indication, has very high rates of success. Imperative for a long-lasting success are intensive aftercare and training in addition to the surgery procedure. The surgeons remove narrowness and pain and create stability. The muscular stabilization has to be taken care of by the patients together with physiotherapists and coaches. The key to success is the close cooperation between medical staff and patients.