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A 34-year-old member asked:

What are the alternatives to shoulder arthroscopy ?

7 doctor answers19 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joel McClurg
Specializes in Orthopedic Surgery
None: Shoulder arthroscopy is performed when the surgeon feels, based on the history, physical exam, x-ray and advanced imaging that conservative treatment has failed or is futile. If you get to that point there are no alternatives to surgery. You always have the option of no surgery, but then the most likely result will be continued symptoms.
Dr. Robert Klitzman
Sports Medicine 18 years experience
Shoulder Arthroscopy: It depends what the shoulder arthroscopy is treating. Some shoulder issues can be treated without surgery by doing therapy and or injections. Some shoulder surgeries are done with open incisions instead of through a scope. The advantages of arthroscopic shoulder surgery are: smaller incisions and usually a faster recovery.
Dr. Bruce Prager
Sports Medicine 42 years experience
Please give more information. Is the surgery for a torn rotator cuff, dislocating shoulder ? There are quite a few variables to consider whether or not conservative or operative intervention is indicated.
Feb 2, 2012
Dr. Gregory Harvey
Orthopedic Surgery 38 years experience
Alternatives : Alternatives to shoulder arthroscopy are dependent on what your shoulder problem is. You can try physical therapy, injections, and anti-inflammatory drugs. However if you have significant pathology in the shoulder then these may just be temporary relief measures.
Dr. Vivek Agrawal
Orthopedic Surgery 31 years experience
Diagnosis?: This really depends on the diagnosis and the reasons you are contemplating having an operation. Rest, activity modification, and rehabilitation are possibilities depending on the specifics of your case. You can learn more here: http://www.Theshouldercenter.Com/shoulder-specialist.Htm.
Dr. Robert Meislin
sports medicine 36 years experience
Shoulder arthroscopy: Alternatives include pt, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic art and a thorough work up of the neck and chest. An injection can be performed as well if pain is refractory to a nsaid.
Dr. Brian Badman
Orthopedic Surgery 25 years experience
Depends: This is an open ended question. Really depends on what you are treating. If for a torn rotator cuff, nothing outside of surgery will heal the tendon. These other modalities mentioned can help with pain but will not fix the tear. If dealing with just inflammation/bursitis/tendonitis/ would agree with other nonoperative modalities as first line of treatment.
Dr. Charles Toman
Sports Medicine 18 years experience
Many: Injection, physical therapy, ice, activity modification, anti-inflammatories, massage, acupuncture. Ultimately, certain types of pathology are best treated with surgery. Find a shoulder specialist to evaluate and treat you! don't be afraid to see a couple of orthopedic surgeons. Make sure you trust the person and that you have confidence in their decision making.

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A 41-year-old member asked:

What can you do before shoulder arthroscopy ?

4 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Oswari
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Clarification needed: Do you mean to prevent the need for surgery? Or pre-operatively? To prevent surgery I have personally used prolotherapy to help my patients avoid surgery.

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Last updated Oct 6, 2018

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