Arthroscopic Capsular Release of the Glenohumeral Joint

Abstract

Dr. Murthi performs an arthroscopic capsular release of the glenohumeral joint on a 55-year-old, right-hand-dominant female with a year-long history of left shoulder pain and stiffness. A long period of nonsurgical treatment, including corticosteroid injections and physical therapy, has failed to produce range-of-motion improvement. Prior to surgery, the patient exhibits a forward elevation of approximately 70 degrees;, roughly 45 degrees of abduction, 5 degrees to 10 degrees of external rotation, and, within the limited amount of abduction, only 5 degrees of rotation in each plane. The goal of the arthroscopic procedure is to release the thickened and contracted capsular tissues surrounding the glenohumeral joint so as to improve the patient's range of motion. In a demonstration of his surgical approach, Dr. Murthi shows how to mark the shoulder for arthroscopic portal placement and complete the anterior and posterior capsular releases. Upon completion of the arthroscopy, Dr. Murthi examines the patient's range of motion, revealing the successful outcomes of the surgery: full elevation of the shoulder to 170degrees, external rotation of 80 degrees to 90 degrees, and greater than 90 degrees of abduction. Postsurgical therapy includes an interscalene block plus a combination of anti-inflammatory medications, ice machines to reduce swelling, and range-of-motion therapy.

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