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Locomotion and motility are two important characteristics of human skeleton and ultimately of human being. This is the point where human beings differ from some of other organisms. Locomotion is movement of an organism as a whole while motility deals with movement restricted to few organs of our body. Our motility is because of some important constituents of our skeleton which are tendons, ligaments, joints, skeletal muscles, bones and cartilages. Joints perform a key role in motility of humans or other animals. Most complex of these joints is THE SHOULDER JOINT. Shoulder joint allows complete movement that is why it is called the ball and socket joint. All thanks to the head of humerus and the glenoid cavity allowing it to attach inside it and move freely in all directions but this free movement in all directions can become extremely painful due to even a single disorder of joints. This leads us to our topic of today that is SHOULDER ARTHROSCOPY AND ARTHROPLASTY.


Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure used by orthopedic surgeons to inspect, diagnose and repair problems in joints. Arthroscopy is combination of Greek word Arthro which means “joint” and skopein which means “to see”. So basically Arthroscopy means “to look within the joint”. Arthroscope is basically a small camera that is inserted in the joint to examine it. It is entered through small incision which allows surgeons to examine the joint through monitor view. Another small incision is made for small surgical instrument that can both diagnose and perform what is needed during operation which could be removal of damaged tissues suturing etc. Arthroscopy is used for the treatment of many joint related problems like osteoarthritis, tears and joint injuries, inflammatory and non-inflammatory conditions.

What is Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Human shoulder is the most complex joint which is capable of more mobility than any joint in our body. Therefore, its treatment is also highly sensitive. And Shoulder arthroscopy is no different from other joints arthroscopy. It was first perform in 1970. It has made examination, treatment and recovery far easier and faster than it was once before. And more improvements are still being made in the field of shoulder arthroscopy in developing new instruments and technique.

How Shoulder arthroscopy is performed?

During shoulder arthroscopy, orthopedic insert small camera called arthroscope to inspect the shoulder joint. Orthopedic uses the images from camera to perform operation through miniature instruments.  Due to the reason that arthroscope (tiny camera) and surgical instruments are very thin, surgeon used very tiny incision (cut) to perform procedure rather that the larger incision needed for standard open surgery. This insures that patient went through less pain and shortens the time it takes to recover.

When and Why shoulder arthroscopy recommended?

Shoulder arthroscopy is recommended to patient when other non-surgical treatments do not respond to the patient’s painful condition. Non-surgical treatments may include rest, physical therapy, medication or injection that can reduce inflammation.  In a damaged or diseased shoulder, inflammation causes pain, stiffness or swelling. Most of shoulder problems are due to overuse, injury and age related wear and tear. It is also recommended due to its less painful procedure and fast recovery. It may takes longer to recover from more complicated procedures.



Arthroplasty is a surgical reconstruction and replacement of joint. In procedure man-made joint is replaced by the original joint called prosthesis. It is also commonly known as joint replacement. The joint itself can also be remodels and realigned. The main goal is to lessen the pain and restore the motion of joint through different procedures like resurfacing, realigning or remodeling the joint with manmade long lasting material such a plastic or metal. Common type of Arthroplasty is performed in hip, knee and shoulder joint. This surgical operation is performed for the treatment from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, joint injuries, osteonecrosis and other joint damages from diseases or injuries. Arthroplasty can be total or partial.

 What is Shoulder Arthroplasty?

Hip and knee replacement, although, is more common than shoulder replacement but both are equally effective. Arthroplasty or Total Shoulder Replacement is an operative procedure for restoring comfort and motility of arthritic shoulder. It was first perform in 1950s in United States for treatment of severe fracture shoulders. Over the course of years, it has become main procedure to get rid of painful shoulder conditions. Shoulder joint replacement is considered when other non-surgical treatments such as physical treatment and medication don’t work in relieving pain. It is a safe and effective procedure for relieving severe pain.


How should Arthroplasty is performed?

It is a well-established surgery method for restoring comfort and motility of arthritic shoulder. Arthritic ball is replaced, in the surgical technique, by smooth ball of metal which fix to the arm bone (humerus) by the stem that fits in it. High density polyethylene prosthesis is resurfaced in arthritic socket (glenoid).  For most rapid and complete recovery this method is highly recommended by orthopedics for arthritic shoulder.


Who should consider a Arthroplasty?

Arthroplasty should only be recommended and consider only if the arthritis is damaging the quality of life of patient. And even after physical therapies and other medication is not working. Complete or partial joint replacement is usually considered for severe arthritis. Replacing the surface of both ball and the socket which is called Total shoulder Arthroplasty is also consider by those patient who are in for rapid and total recovery of their damaged shoulder. But the patients with the depression or disease like obesity, diabetes and Parkinson disease should not consider this surgery. Also patients gone through several pervious shoulder surgeries, shoulder joint infection, rotator cuff deficiency and multiple altered shoulder anatomy should not consider this procedure.

Is Arthroplasty and arthroscopy same?

No, Arthroplasty and Arthroscopy both are not considered same. These are two minimal incision processes. Arthroscopy is done by tiny incision (cut) and is less painful whereas Arthroplasty is a whole surgical process in which joint replaced by prosthesis and it could be total or partial.

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