Shoulder Arthroscopy


Where possible Dr Harper uses a minimally invasive Arthroscopic approach. This approach is a very common surgical procedure and has strong benefits.This surgical procedure can be used to treat a range of shoulder pathologies.

An arthroscope is a device that is inserted into the joint. The arthroscope includes a tiny camera that is connected to a TV screen used by [doctor] to see inside your joint.

If necessary other surgical instruments can be inserted through the arthroscope or through additional small incisions. These other instruments can be used to perform cleaning, cutting, tying knots or removal of material from the joint.

The term ‘arthroscope’ comes from two Greek words, arthro-, meaning joint, and -skopein, meaning to examine.

The benefits of arthroscopy include

  • smaller incisions with little scarring
  • faster postoperative recovery
  • less pain and lower complication rates
  • Less stiffness

Dr Harper can perform some arthroscopic surgical procedures on an outpatient basis. This means patients can return home the same day of the procedure.

Risks with Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Complications are not common but can occur. Prior to making any decision to have surgery, it is important that you discuss any concerns with Dr Harper and understand the potential risks so that you can make an informed decision regarding the surgery’s advantages and disadvantages.

Risks from arthroscopic surgery include

  • risk of infection <1%
  • Stiffness or frozen shoulder: incidence varies with specific operation and rehabilitation. Stiffness is more common in patients with diabetes.
  • postoperative bleeding (rare)
  • Nerve injury (rare)

Rarely do these complications prevail over the long term. Other general medical and surgical risks can include:

  • Chest infection
  • clotting in the arm, leg (deep vein thrombosis - DVT) or lung. (very rare)
  • allergies and anaesthetic complications can occur

If there are any postoperative concerns or pain, please do not hesitate in contacting Dr Harper's rooms or the hospital.

Useful Links

  • Royal Australian College Of Surgeon
  • Australian Orthopaedic Association
  • Prince Of Wales Private Hospital
  • South Sydney Sports Medicine
  • Sydney Orthopaedic Specialists