Surgical Information

Shoulder Arthroscopy for Dislocations

What is shoulder arthroscopy for dislocations?

Shoulder arthroscopy for dislocations is a minimally invasive procedure to repair torn or stretched ligaments so that they are better able to hold the shoulder joint in place.


The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint made up of three bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade) and clavicle (collarbone). The bones are covered with articular cartilage for smooth, pain-free motion of the joint. The muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder provide stability and support. All of these structures allow the shoulder to rotate through a greater range of motion than any other joint in the body.

When is surgery recommended?

Many shoulder dislocations do not require surgery. However, some patients are at high risk for recurrent dislocation. If you are at high risk or have had multiple dislocations. Your doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery.

What is the recovery time?

Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure and patients usually go home the same day. Following surgery, patients wear a sling for several weeks to keep the shoulder immobilized. They then embark on an intensive physical therapy program to restore range of motion, strength and flexibility in the shoulder. Typically, full rehabilitation takes a few months. Most patients return to normal activities within six weeks of surgery and limited athletics between 10 and 14 weeks. Return to contact sports is possible after three to six months, depending on the sport. As with all surgical procedures, specific recovery time varies by patient and demand.