How Do Doctors Remove Bone Spurs in Shoulders?

Doctors use arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs from the shoulder, according to MedlinePlus. During the procedure, the surgeon inserts a small camera into the shoulder joint to examine and repair the tissue. The surgeon inserts the camera through a small incision in the skin.

Bone spurs develop along the edges of bones in the joints. Wear-and-tear damage from osteoarthritis is the primary cause of bone spurs. Most do not cause symptoms and are undetected for years. If the bone spur is not causing pain or affecting the health, it may not require treatment, according to Mayo Clinic.

Bone spurs sometimes break off the larger bones and become loose bodies. Loose bodies drift in the joint and sometimes cause it to lock, preventing moving the joint. When the loose body moves, the joint is free again, indicates Mayo Clinic.

Healing after arthroscopic surgery on the shoulder takes one to six months, reports MedlinePlus. Patients usually wear a sling for the first week after surgery. The surgeon sometimes recommends physical therapy to restore the range of motion.

Sometimes the surgeon begins an arthroscopic surgery and finds the damage is severe enough that it requires open surgery. With open surgery, the scars are larger and take longer to heal, according to MedlinePlus.