Shoulder Surgery

Shoulder Surgery Q & A

Why might I need to undergo shoulder surgery?

Acute shoulder injuries

Shoulder surgery might be necessary if you have an injury like a severe dislocation or fracture. Straightforward dislocations and some fractures might only require manual realignment and an X-ray to check everything is where it should be. More severe compound and comminuted fractures might require surgery.

Chronic shoulder pain

You might benefit from shoulder surgery if you have chronic shoulder pain that isn’t improving under a conservative treatment program.

For most shoulder problems, a combination of physical therapies, medication, regenerative medicine, and rest resolves the pain. More persistent shoulder pain might require steroid injections that deliver powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly into your shoulder.

If these don’t help, surgery might be the best option.

What sort of shoulder surgery might I need?

The shoulder surgery you need depends largely on the cause of your shoulder pain. Rotator cuff tears and labrum tears in the shoulder socket might need repairing, while if you have severe osteoarthritis, you might need to have shoulder replacement surgery.

There are three types of shoulder replacement surgery:

Total shoulder replacement

This procedure involves removing both sections of bone (ball and socket) that make up the shoulder joint. After shaping the healthy bone that remains, your surgeon fixes an artificial ball and socket with a spacer in-between to mimic the function of a natural shoulder joint.

Partial shoulder replacement

Your surgeon at Town Center Orthopaedics replaces either the ball-shaped head at the top of your upper arm bone or the socket into which this bone fits. As shoulder replacement is usually necessary because of arthritis, which tends to affect both parts of the joint, partial shoulder replacement is less common than total shoulder replacement.

Reverse shoulder replacement

This procedure might be best if you have a severe rotator cuff tear or dislocation. Your surgeon swaps the ball and socket around, enabling you to move your shoulder without needing to use your rotator cuff.

How is shoulder surgery performed?

The Town Center Orthopaedics team uses minimally invasive techniques wherever possible to perform shoulder surgery.

These techniques require very small incisions rather than the large cuts necessary in open surgery, meaning less pain after the operation and a quicker return to your daily activities.

Your surgeon uses an arthroscope to perform minimally invasive joint surgery (arthroscopy). The arthroscope is a slim, bendable tube that has a light and a tiny camera on it. When your surgeon passes the arthroscope through one of the small incisions, it sends back a live stream of the surgery site.

Your surgeon completes the surgery using specialized instruments that also fit into small incisions, guided by the images from the arthroscope.

To find out more about shoulder surgery, call Town Center Orthopaedics today or book an appointment online.

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