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Cutaneous burn caused by radiofrequency ablation probe during shoulder arthroscopy.

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Cutaneous burn caused by radiofrequency ablation probe during shoulder arthroscopy.

Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2015 Feb;44(2):E58-60

Authors: Talati RK, Dein EJ, Huri G, McFarland EG

It is common in shoulder surgery to perform an arthroscopic acromioplasty for patients with varying degrees of rotator cuff disease. One method for helping the surgeon stay oriented to the location of the arthroscopic instruments during this procedure is to place spinal needles into the subacromial space to demarcate bony landmarks. It is also common during arthroscopic partial acromioplasty to use an electrocautery device for hemostasis and tissue ablation. Although many complications of using an electrothermal device have been described, this is the first published report of a skin burn from direct contact of the device with the spinal needle used for demarcation during acromioplasty. We report this case to highlight the need to take precautions to prevent the metal needles used in arthroscopic surgery from overheating by contact with an ablation device.

PMID: 25658085 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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