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From the first shoulder arthroscopy performed on a cadaver in 1931, shoulder arthroscopy has grown tremendously in its ability to diagnose and treat pathologic conditions about the shoulder. Despite improvements in arthroscopic techniques and instrumentation, it is only recently that arthroscopists have begun to explore precise anatomical structures within the subdeltoid space. By way of a thorough bursectomy of the subdeltoid region, meticulous hemostasis, and the reciprocal use of posterior and lateral viewing portals, one can identify a myriad of pertinent ligamentous, musculotendinous, osseous, and neurovascular structures. For the purposes of this review, the subdeltoid space has been compartmentalized into lateral, medial, anterior, and posterior regions. Being able to identify pertinent structures in the subdeltoid space will provide shoulder arthroscopists with the requisite foundation in core anatomy that will be required for challenging procedures such as arthroscopic subscapularis mobilization and repair, biceps tenodesis, subcoracoid decompression, suprascapular nerve decompression, quadrangular space decompression and repair of massive rotator cuff tears.
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