We describe a healthy 59-year-old woman who sustained a third-degree burn from a grounding pad during shoulder arthroscopy. We wish to make surgeons aware of a rare complication associated with any arthroscopic procedure in which an electrocautery/grounding pad system is used. We detail the presentation, evaluation, treatment, and definitive care and review the possible causes of this complication and the mechanism by which an electrocautery/grounding pad system functions. Although this complication is not uncommon, we believe that this is the first case report describing a burn at the grounding pad site occurring during arthroscopy.
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Published online: January 27, 2009
© 2009 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.