Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


My surgeon has offered me an option for my shoulder surgery. I dislocated it a few months ago and it's not healing. He said I could have open surgery or arthroscopic. How do I know which one to choose?


Surgery for a dislocated shoulder can be done with the traditional large incision or arthroscopically, using very small incisions and long surgical instruments to reach the area to be repaired. Both types of surgeries have their pros and cons. Traditional surgery generally takes longer to recover from because of the size of the incision and the type of work the doctor does while inside the shoulder. There is a higher risk of complications and longer time in hospital, but the success rate seems to be a bit better than that of arthroscopy. On the other hand, arthroscopic surgery generally requires a shorter recovery time, meaning shorter hospital stay, and fewer complications. However, there is a higher risk of redislocating the shoulder, according to some study findings. You should discuss this with your doctor, weighing the pros and cons of both types of surgeries. Giuseppe Porcellini, MD, et al. Predisposing Factors for Recurrent Shoulder Dislocation After Arthroscopic Treatment. In Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. No. 91. Pp. 2537 to 2542.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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