Arthroscopic treatment of the unstable shoulder has evolved rapidly and significantly in recent years. Better understanding of the pathoanatomy, advancements in technology, and improved surgical techniques have led to dramatic improvements in outcome. An arthroscopic approach includes significant advantages. Arthroscopy provides better identification of concomitant pathology, lower morbidity, less soft tissue dissection, maximal preservation of motion, shorter surgical time, and improved cosmesis. There is less pain, and many patients have an easier functional recovery, with greater returns in motion compared with traditional open techniques. Finally, some of the inherent risks of open procedures, such as postoperative subscapularis rupture, are virtually eliminated. Surgeons can now routinely expect results that are at least comparable, if not better than, those achieved with open techniques.
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