An arthroscopy is a type of keyhole surgery used both to diagnose and treat problems with joints. It's most commonly used on the knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists and hips.
An arthroscopy involves the use of a device called an arthroscope to examine the joints. This is a thin, metal tube about the length and width of a drinking straw that contains a light source and a camera. Images are sent from the arthroscope to a video screen or an eyepiece, so the surgeon is able to see inside the joint.
It's also possible for tiny surgical instruments to be used alongside an arthroscope to allow the surgeon to treat certain joint conditions.
Proposed revisions to the eligibility criteria
Shoulder Arthroscopy is Not Routinely Funded and to be available only after conservative treatment options including physiotherapy, analgesia, manipulation and injections have failed to provide relief.
This means for patients requiring Shoulder Arthroscopy the CCG will only fund the treatment if an Individual Funding Request (IFR) application proves exceptional clinical need.
The CCG will only fund in exceptional circumstances for patients with adhesive capsulitis (“frozen shoulder”) where there is evidence that all of the following treatments have been trialled and failed:
Physiotherapy and exercise programme
Oral analgesia including NSAIDs unless contraindicated
Intra-articular steroid injections
Manipulation under anaesthetic
The CCG will fund shoulder arthroscopy only in the following circumstance:
Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis (for 12 months) following a fracture.