Comprehensive Arthroscopic Management (CAM)

What is Comprehensive Arthroscopic Management (CAM)?

The CAM procedure uses a variety of minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery techniques to target three areas of the shoulder, with a focus of alleviating pain along the back and side of the shoulder. 

What happens during a comprehensive arthroscopic management (CAM)?

The first stage targets the loose labrum tissue that surrounds the glenoid. The damaged labrum tissue is removed and the bone is then smoothed out within the joint. The second step then releases any scarred ligaments and tissues surrounding the articular capsule of the humerus, restoring mobility.

The final element of the procedure is arguably the most important as it decompresses the axillary nerve, which alleviates much of the pain associated with shoulder arthritis. This consists of removing bone spurs that are often present, as well as scar tissue, which may have trapped the nerve causing pain. 

For patients with severe shoulder arthritis, the standard treatment has typically been a full joint replacement. However, unlike patients who undergo a hip replacement to treat severe hip arthritis, a full joint replacement in the shoulder isn’t necessarily always the best surgical option.

Whilst the hip requires the ability to move and must bear the patient’s weight without causing pain, the shoulder is very different – it requires a greater deal of mobility and a wider range of movement. Even something as basic as brushing your hair requires a huge variety of motion and in this respect, because the functions of these two joints differs so significantly, it makes sense for the treatment of severe arthritis to be focussed on re-establishing the full function of that specific joint.

What are the benefits of a comprehensive arthroscopic management (CAM)?

The need for an alternative surgical option that specifically targets the affected arthritic areas around the capsule of the shoulder as opposed to replacing the joint is why this innovative procedure has been bought to the UK. In addition, because the CAM Procedure uses a series of minimally invasive techniques, patients are able to have a quicker recovery and delay the need for a full joint replacement, with some cases perhaps never needing one.

The CAM Procedure looks set to revolutionise the way shoulder arthritis is treated in the UK, providing a welcomed alternative for those patients who want to continue their active and energetic lifestyles without the disruption of severe arthritis.

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