Cartilage, the protective surface that covers the ends of our bones, helps our joints move smoothly and pain-free. Cartilage may become damaged with age, wear and tear, or injury. Injury to cartilage and its underlying bone can cause a loose fragment to break away and float freely in the shoulder joint. Loose fragments often cause mechanical symptoms such as locking, catching, and intermittent sharp pains. The purpose of the arthroscopic surgery is to repair or remove the loose body and assess the cartilage surfaces of the shoulder. In some cases, the loose body can be returned to its proper position and fixed back in place. But often, the fragment is too deformed or fragmented to be returned to its position and heal. In cases where the fragment is not reparable, Dr. Chudik will attempt to repair the damage when possible or debride (clean-up) the torn or frayed ends back to stable borders so the damage does not continue to propagate, catch, or cause irritation.
Dr. Chudik performs arthroscopic surgery with the assistance of an arthroscope, a small camera that allows you look inside the shoulder through small incisions. Small arthroscopic shavers and grasping instruments are used to remove the loose body and contour the cartilage. For some lesions, Dr. Chudik may prepare the exposed bone surface to create bleeding and a healing response or perform other cartilage preservation techniques