If you’re experiencing shoulder pain or dysfunction, and have exhausted non-surgical treatment options, you may be considering shoulder surgery or even a shoulder replacement. Many people who have shoulder pain are diagnosed with a problem related to the tendons, ligaments or muscles that hold the shoulder together, rather than the actual shoulder bones, unless a fracture is involved.
Depending on the severity of your condition, there are various surgical procedures that might be appropriate. To give patients a starting point, we’ve outlined some of the most common shoulder surgical procedures below.
Shoulder Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive technique where a surgeon inserts a tiny fiber optic camera, called an arthroscope, into the shoulder joint to evaluate damage and guide repairs. It can be used for various conditions, including:
- Rotator cuff tears
- Labral tears (tears of the cartilage rim around the socket)
- Bone spurs
- Inflammation around the rotator cuff (subacromial bursitis) or impingement
- Frozen shoulder
Rotator Cuff Injuries and Surgery
The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that hold the shoulder bones together and allow you to raise your arm over your head. When torn, people can feel both pain and weakness, as well as limited range of motion. Rotator cuff tears can be a partial or a complete tear and can be the result of wear and tear or an injury, such as a fall. Rotator cuff surgery is performed to repair a torn or damaged rotator cuff tendon and can involve arthroscopic techniques or open surgery, depending on the size and location of the tear.
In some cases, reverse total shoulder replacement is a good option when the rotator cuff is severely damaged, making a traditional total shoulder replacement less effective. It reverses the ball-and-socket configuration of the shoulder joint to improve function.