We use our shoulders in most of our daily activities. In any of these activities, there are possibilities for strain or injury. Finding the right treatment that depends on the injury’s severity and the affected area, is crucial to regain our shoulder’s function and mobility.
Minor injuries may only require conservative treatments such as the RICE method and medications. However, chronic or more severe cases of shoulder damage may require surgical treatment.
Types of Shoulder Surgeries
How would you know which type of shoulder surgery is right for your condition? Your orthopedic surgeon will first diagnose your condition and identify the root cause of your injury. After diagnosis, your doctor may recommend one of the following procedures:
Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to examine and treat problems inside the shoulder joint. It is commonly used to remove damaged tissue to reconstruct ligaments in the joint. Arthroscopy may be prescribed to you if you have shoulder instability, impingement syndrome, rotator cuff tears, frozen shoulder, and some cases of dislocation and fractures.
During the procedure, your surgeon makes a small incision on the joint, which is filled with sterile saline solution to expand the space and give them a better view. The surgeon will insert an arthroscope, an instrument with a small camera to locate the damage. If treatment is necessary, your surgeon can make additional small incisions to insert specialized surgical instruments.
Since it is minimally invasive, most of the arthroscopy procedures are performed as an outpatient accommodation. Compared to traditional open surgery, it has less risk of infection and bleeding. After surgery, a physical therapist will guide you to regain your mobility, strength, and flexibility.
Rotator Cuff Repair
The common cause of rotator cuff tear is tendon degeneration. When your rotator cuff tears, you can feel pain in the front area of your shoulder. Over time, the pain spreads to your arms and intensifies as you lift or lower your arm. As it gets worse, you may start feeling pain even when your arm is at rest. On the other hand, traumatic causes of a rotator cuff tear don’t develop gradually. You will immediately feel a snap, resulting in pain and weakness of the joint.
Repairing the rotator cuff with surgery is often recommended when nonsurgical methods have not offered significant improvement in your symptoms. Likewise, your doctor may also prescribe surgery as the first choice of treatment if you rely on arm strength for work or sports.
There are various approaches to rotator cuff repair. For partial tears, only a debridement or the cutting of damaged tissues is required. For complete tears, they may suture the tendons or reattach them to the bone. These may be performed as an outpatient procedure.
A more invasive version of rotator cuff tear repair called an open surgical repair, involves making an incision that is several inches long. Your surgeon gains direct access to the rotator cuff by detaching the surrounding muscle. This procedure may be done arthroscopically on smaller injuries.
Total Shoulder Replacement
Shoulder replacement surgery or arthroplasty is a procedure that replaces a damaged joint with an implant. It is commonly used to alleviate pain due to arthritis and restore the normal functioning of the shoulders.
Arthritis of the shoulders causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joint. Total shoulder replacement is recommended for people with advanced osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. It’s also recommended for some cases of fractures and rotator cuff arthropathy.
In total shoulder replacement, a metal implant will replace the damaged head (ball) of the humerus or the arm bone. The glenoid cavity (socket) of the scapula or the shoulder blade is replaced with a plastic implant. Compared to the other two procedures mentioned, total shoulder replacement surgery is more invasive as it uses bigger incisions, approximately 6 inches long. The recovery period for this surgery can last up to several months.
Shoulder Surgeon in Delray Beach
Different cases of shoulder damage require different surgical approaches. You can explore your options with the help of a reliable surgeon. Some of these treatment methods include shoulder arthroscopy, rotator cuff repair, or shoulder replacement.
Headed by Dr. Steve Meadows, our medical team at South Palm Orthopedics is ready to help you ease your shoulder pain. We are equipped with the expertise and technology to address upper extremity disorders, so rest assured we can provide quality and patient-centered care for you.
If you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment with Dr. Meadows, call (561) 496-6622. Alternatively, you may fill out this secure online form. We look forward to being part of your journey to regaining an active lifestyle.