Shoulder surgery is done to repair a damaged, degenerated, or diseased shoulder joint. It can solve a variety of conditions in the shoulder joint. These include rotator cuff tears, shoulder dislocations, and shoulder separations
The shoulder joint can be damaged by aging, disease, overuse, or injury. Shoulder surgery can help restore motion, making it pain-free and makes the damaged shoulder joint fully functional.
Shoulder surgery is a common but major surgery with potential risks & complications. Your doctor will recommend shoulder surgery only if other less invasive treatment options have not worked.
Minimally invasive surgery involves inserting an arthroscope in your shoulder. Minimally invasive surgery usually involves a faster recovery, less pain, and risks than open surgery. This is because it causes less damage to tissues and organs. A small incision is made instead of a larger one and surgical tools are threaded around muscles and tissues instead of cutting through as in open surgery.
Open surgery involves making a large incision in the shoulder. It allows the surgeon to directly view and access the surgical area. The recovery period is longer.
Mini-open surgery uses more innovative technology and combines minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques with a smaller open procedure. The incision is one to two inches long, which is smaller than in standard open surgery. This technique allows extensive repairs that are not possible with minimally invasive surgery. It also causes less damage than traditional open surgery because your muscles remain attached during surgery.
Your surgeon will advise you regarding which procedure is best for your condition and how long you are required to stay in the hospital, depending on your diagnosis, age, medical history, overall health, and personal preference.
Shoulder Surgery Procedures An orthopedic surgeon performs shoulder surgery. An orthopedic surgeon is a surgeon who specializes in the surgical treatment of diseases and conditions of the bones and connective tissues.
The types of shoulder surgery procedures include:
Arthroplasty to replace or resurface a diseased joint. It involves the removal of arthritic or damaged surfaces of bone and replacing them with artificial material or an implant called a prosthesis. This may include a partial replacement or a total replacement of the shoulder joint. Shoulder arthroplasty is recommended for degenerative diseases of the shoulder.
Arthroscopy is surgery done with the aid of an arthroscope. The arthroscope is a long, thin instrument that contains a small camera. The instrument is inserted into the joint through an incision and the camera transmits pictures from the inside of the joint to a video screen, which is seen by your doctor while performing surgery.
Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is recommended for shoulder dislocations, shoulder tendonitis, certain rotator cuff problems, soft tissue (muscle) repairs, frozen shoulder, and the repair of torn cartilage or ligaments.
The types of shoulder surgery procedures include:
Rotator cuff repair It is done to treat a torn tendon in the shoulder joint by reattaching a torn rotator cuff.
Soft tissue repair Iis done to treat damaged shoulder muscles.
Other procedures include:
Bone fracture or dislocation repair. In case of severe injuries, surgical repair may be required.
Bursectomy or bursa sac repair to treat a damaged bursa sac. The bursa sac provides cushioning to the joint.
After surgery, some pain, tenderness, and stiffness are normal. Be alert to certain signs and symptoms and contact your doctor immediately.
You can reduce the risk of certain complications by sticking to your treatment plan and the following tips.
You will be required to stay in the recovery room after the surgery, until you are alert, breathing effectively, and your vital signs are stable. You may have a sore throat if a tube was placed in your windpipe during surgery. This is usually temporary, but tell your doctor if you are uncomfortable.
You will be allowed to go home on the same day of surgery for an outpatient procedure if you are recovering well. A hospital stay of one to two days is needed for an inpatient procedure.
Recovery time varies depending on the procedure, type of anesthesia, general health, age, and other factors. You will most likely be required to wear a sling for several weeks after surgery. Your doctor will recommend an exercise rehabilitation program to help you recover. Full recovery takes a few weeks to several months.
Pain control is important for complete healing and a smooth recovery. Your doctor will plan your pain management with medications and you may seek assistance if it causes discomfort or it’s not helping.
Shoulder surgery will cure your condition and reduce your symptoms so you can lead an active and normal life. But it cannot prevent future damage to your shoulder. You can help prevent further shoulder damage by: