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Shoulder

The shoulder is a “ball-and-socket” joint made up of the upper arm bone (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula) and collarbone (clavicle). This joint is the most flexible one in the body and allows for a full range of motion, but also makes the shoulder a common source of injury and instability.

Some of the most common shoulder conditions include:

  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Impingement
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Instability
  • Fractures
  • Osteoarthritis

While many of these conditions can be effectively managed through nonsurgical techniques, surgery is often needed to thoroughly correct the condition and allow patients to maintain an active and healthy life.


Possible Treatments and Procedures


Rotator Cuff Repair:

The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that support the shoulder joint and allow for complete movement while keeping the ball of the arm bone in the shoulder socket. Rotator cuff surgery may be performed laparoscopically or through an open procedure, depending on the type and severity of the condition. Both procedures are performed under general anesthesia and aim to reattach the tendon back to the arm, along with removing any loose fragments from the shoulder area.

Labral Tear Surgery:

A labrum is a protective cuff of cartilage found in the shoulder that provides stability, cushioning and a full range of motion. A tear in the labrum, known as a labral tear, is caused by injury or overuse and can lead to pain and “catching” of the joint while moving. Labral repair aims to repair unstable shoulders with staples, anchors or sutures. It is usually performed using arthroscopy, which allows the surgeon to view the tear through a small camera and perform the procedure through tiny incisions. Larger tears may require an open procedure.

Stabilization:

The shoulder can often become dislocated or slip partially out of the joint, a condition known as subluxation. Shoulder stabilization can be performed through an arthroscopic procedure that may involve reattaching loose or torn ligaments to the joint with the use of special implants called suture anchors. These anchors are used to relocate and tighten injured structures, and then disintegrate over time. Depending on the individual patient’s joint stability, shoulder stabilization surgery can also repair tears of the biceps muscle tendon, a damaged rotator cuff, or tighten the shoulder capsule.

Arthroscopy:

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to treat many shoulder conditions by inserting a fiber-optic device and tiny surgical instruments into small incisions. Patients can benefit from less tissue damage, shorter recovery times and less scarring with arthroscopic techniques. This procedure can also be used for diagnostic purposes after a physical examination and other imaging procedures have been performed.

Total Shoulder Replacement:

Severe shoulder conditions with persistent symptoms that have not responded well to conservative treatments may benefit from shoulder replacement surgery. Shoulder replacement surgery replaces the damaged joint with an artificial one that allows patients to enjoy painless motion and resume their regular activities.

During the shoulder replacement procedure, the damaged bone and cartilage are replaced with a metal and plastic implant that helps relieve pain, stiffness and swelling, while improving range of motion and allowing patients to resume their regular activities.