For years, shoulder instability has been treated with open surgery to repair the torn lip of the glenoid socket, called the "labrum." Many surgeons now believe that instability is associated with more than just labral tears. Using minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques, your surgeon will have access to the entire joint. As a result, he or she can examine all potential tears and will base the method of repair (arthroscopic and sometimes open) on this thorough inspection. The arthroscopic repair is done using small incisions, which typically means your recovery is quicker and less painful.
To repair shoulder instability, your surgeon will attach anchors to the bone, then will pass sutures through the tissue. The anchors hold the suture in place. In many cases, these anchors are bioabsorbable and are gradually absorbed in the body over time (within three to five years following the procedure), rather than permanently residing in the bone. The surgeon may tighten the joint capsule using suture or a radiofrequency (RF) or thermal probe that heats the tissue, causing a molecular change in the collagen that allows the tissue itself to shrink.