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Shoulder Treatments

There are many types of surgeries available to treat shoulder conditions when non-surgical treatments are not effective. These surgeries cover all parts of the shoulder, which is a ball-and-socket joint. Parts of the shoulder include the upper arm bone, shoulder blade and collarbone; a small socket called the glenoid which is surrounded by a soft tissue rim; the rotator cuff which is comprised of a group of muscles and tendons; the bursa membrane; and other connecting joints. Information regarding various shoulder surgeries can be found below:

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

A reverse total shoulder replacement may be recommended for people who have a completely torn rotator cuff, cuff tear, or arthropathy. Conventional shoulder placements use replacement devices that work like a normal shoulder, with a plastic “cup” fitted to the shoulder socket and metal ball attached to the upper arm bone. However, some people require the shoulder to work in a different manner, therefore, a reverse shoulder replacement is necessary. With a reverse shoulder replacement, the socket and metal ball are switched, forcing the shoulder to rely on the deltoid muscle instead of rotator cuff to operate the arm.

Shoulder Arthroscopy

Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive procedure surgeons use to evaluate, inspect and repair problems within the shoulder joint. During the procedure, a tiny incision is made and a small camera is inserted into the shoulder joint. The camera displays pictures on a television screen that the surgeon can use to make repairs with extremely small instruments. Arthroscopy provides less pain and faster recovery time for patients than traditional surgery. It is generally recommended as the next step for conditions not responding to non-surgical treatments.

Total Shoulder Replacement

Total shoulder replacement can be a valuable treatment for shoulder conditions such as severe fractures, different forms of arthritis, and other injuries that are not responding to non-surgical treatments. During shoulder replacement surgery, the damaged parts of the shoulder are replaced with artificial components. This type of procedure can involve replacing just the “ball” of the humerus bone, or replacement of both the ball and socket.  A partial replacement may also be an option.

Rotator Cuff Surgeries

Rotator cuff surgeries are generally recommended for people who have a torn rotator cuff and pain is not improving with non-surgical treatments. Tears often involve re-attaching the tendon to the upper arm bone, but partial tears may only require cuff smoothing and some complete tears may require stitching together.

Rotator cuff surgery options include:

  • Open Repair – A traditional surgery that can be required for severe tears. It involves detaching the shoulder muscle to gain access to the torn tendon.
  • Arthroscopic Repair – A minimally-invasive procedure in which the surgeon uses a small camera inserted into the shoulder joint to view the joint on a television screen and make repairs.
  • Mini-Open Repair – A procedure that uses advances in technology to treat the damage. Part of the treatment is performed arthroscopically and part is performed through a small incision.