Shoulder

Many shoulder conditions can be treated through conservative methods, but some may require surgery to effectively relieve pain and restore function to the joint. Your doctor will decide which type of treatment is best for you after a thorough evaluation of your condition.
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What is Shoulder Arthroscopy?

A shoulder arthroscopy is a procedure used to examine, diagnose, and treat problems inside the shoulder joint. Your surgeon will insert a small camera into the shoulder joint to capture and display images that will be used to guide the procedure. The methods for shoulder arthroscopy are less involved than those required for standard, open surgery, and therefore result in reduced pain and a shorter recovery time period.

You might need Shoulder Arthroscopy if…

  • You experience persistent age and/or wear-and-tear-related shoulder damage
  • You have a painful condition that is unresponsive to nonsurgical treatment

What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?

A rotator cuff tear is a common cause of pain and disability among adults. Rotator cuff tears typically weaken the shoulder and increase pain during, and difficulty of, daily activities.

You might have a Rotator Cuff Tear if…

  • You experience pain during rest and at night, especially when lying on the affected shoulder
  • You experience pain when lifting and/or lowering your arm with specific movements
  • Your arm feels weak when lifting or rotating it
  • You experience a crackling sensation when moving your shoulder

What is Rotator Cuff Repair?

A rotator cuff tear is a common cause of pain and disability among adults. Rotator cuff tears typically weaken the shoulder and increase pain during, and difficulty of, daily activities. Rotator cuff repair typically involves reattachment of the tendon to the upper-arm bone. When the thickest part of the tendon suffers a complete tear, this is repaired by stitching its two sides together.

You might need Rotator Cuff Repair if…

  • You experience persistent pain that is unresponsive to nonsurgical treatment
  • If you are very active and use your arms for overhead work and/or sports
  • You suffer a recent, acute, and/or large tear
  • You experience weakness and/or loss of function in your shoulder

What is Shoulder Stabilization?

Shoulder stabilization is a procedure that involves the repair of an overstretching and/or tear deep within the shoulder joint. Typically the surgery is performed arthroscopically, however some surgeons prefer an open procedure. Your surgeon will discuss your best available surgical options with you before proceeding with an operation.

You might need Shoulder Stabilization if…

  • You experience frequent subluxation, which causes the shoulder to slip into certain positions, subsequently making the shoulder feel ‘loose.’ (This often occurs when raising your hand above your head, or perhaps when throwing an object)
  • You experience fleeting feelings of pain, as if something is slipping and/or pinching your shoulder, which may force you to self-impose restrictions on your use of your shoulder
  • Your shoulder becomes so loose that it begins to frequently dislocate
  • An abnormality of your shoulder becomes visibly apparent, specifically after an intense onset of pain has occurred  
  • You develop a numb spot on the outside of your arm, below the top of your shoulder
  • Your shoulder muscles become temporarily weakened

What is Shoulder Replacement?

Originally used to treat severe shoulder fractures, shoulder replacement surgery is now an option to treat a variety of other painful conditions of the shoulder, including arthritis and others. Shoulder replacement procedures are often considered when nonsurgical treatments (medication, exercise, etc.) prove no longer satisfactory in relieving or eliminating pain. Replacement surgery is common, safe, and effective.

You might need Shoulder Replacement if…

  • You have arthritis-induced shoulder pain that remains uncontrolled by non-surgical treatment
  • Your pain is accompanied by progressive stiffness and motion loss, and you experience grinding or grating sensations within the shoulder joint

What is Reverse Shoulder Replacement?

A reverse shoulder replacement is the preferred procedure for patients with cuff tear arthropathy, for whom conventional shoulder replacement will likely prove unsuccessful and/or ineffective. Because patients with large rotator cuff tears and/or cuff tear arthropathy typically cannot retain function of their rotator cuff muscles, such patients require alternatives to replacement devices that rely on the use of those muscles. This is where reverse shoulder replacement comes in: this procedure relies instead on the deltoid muscle to power and position the patient’s arm.

You might need Reverse Shoulder Replacement if…

  • You have a complete, irreparable rotator cuff tear
  • You have cuff tear arthropathy
  • Your previous shoulder replacement proved unsuccessful
  • You have severe shoulder pain
  • It is difficult to lift your arm away from your head
  • You have tried and ruled out the effectiveness of rest, medication, cortisone injection, physical therapy, and other forms of treatment designed to relieve shoulder pain

What is Shoulder Impingement?

Shoulder impingement is the result of chronic and repetitive compression of the rotator-cuff tendons in the shoulder, resulting in pain and movement issues. This condition is also caused by shoulder injuries, and is a risk for those who perform repetitive or overhead arm movements, such as manual laborers or athletes. If left untreated, a shoulder impingement can lead to more serious conditions, such as a rotator cuff tear.

You might have Shoulder Impingement if…

  • You have minor pain that persists throughout activity and rest
  • Your pain radiates throughout the front of your shoulder and the side of your arm
  • You experience sudden pain when lifting and/or reaching
  • You experience pain at night
  • You suffer a loss of strength and/or motion
  • Activities that place the arm behind the back, such as buttoning or zippering, become increasingly difficult
  • You feel an acute, severe  tenderness of the shoulder, and your movements suddenly become limited and/or painful

What is Shoulder Instability?

When the upper arm bone is forced out of the shoulder socket, this results in shoulder instability. Often this condition is caused by a sudden injury or overuse. Chronic shoulder instability can manifest when the shoulder is loose and slips out of place recurrently.

You might have Shoulder Instability if…

  • You have pain caused by shoulder injury
  • You have recurrent shoulder dislocations
  • Your shoulder gives out repeatedly
  • You experience a persistent sensation of the shoulder feeling ‘loose,’ moving in and out of the joint, or ‘hanging’

What is Shoulder Arthritis?

Shoulder arthritis is the inflammation of your shoulder joint(s). The inflammation of a diseased shoulder commonly causes pain and stiffness in the affected area.

You might have Shoulder Arthritis if…

  • You have persistent pain, which may be aggravated and increasingly worsened by activity
  • You experience limited range of motion, making it difficult to lift your arm, to comb your hair, or reach your arms out
  • You hear a grinding, clicking, or snapping sound as you move your shoulder
  • You experience night pain that makes sleeping difficult

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