Patient positioning in shoulder arthroscopy: Which is best?

Jorge Rojas, Filippo Familiari, Alexander Bitzer, Uma Srikumaran, Rocco Papalia, Edward G. McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


When performing diagnostic and surgical arthroscopic procedures on the shoulder, the importance of patient positioning cannot be understated. The optimum patient positioning for shoulder arthroscopy should enhance intraoperative joint visualization and surgical accessibility while minimizing potential perioperative risk to the patient. Most shoulder arthroscopy procedures can be reliably performed with the patient either in the lateral decubitus (LD) or beach chair (BC) position. Although patient positioning for shoulder arthroscopy has been subject of controversy, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest superiority of one position versus another. Each position offers advantages and disadvantages and surgeon’s experience and training are pivotal on selecting one position versus another. Regardless of the position, a proper positioning of the patient should provide adequate access to the joint while minimizing complications. The purpose of this review is to summarize setup and technical aspects, the advantages and disadvantages, and the possible complications of the LD and BC positions in shoulder arthroscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-55
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Arthroscopy
  • Beach chair
  • Complications
  • Lateral decubitus
  • Neuropraxia
  • Positioning
  • Shoulder
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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