The main goal for a shoulder surgery is to improve function and relieve pain.
The first step in treating a shoulder injury seldom involves surgery. However, people with shoulder-related issues often reach a point where it’s a good idea to talk to a shoulder surgeon in Los Angeles about procedures that may provide more substantial relief than medications and therapeutic or home remedies.
- Any type of surgery involving frequently used joints, like the shoulder, has its pros and cons.
- Many forms of shoulder surgery performed today involve minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures, although there are times when it makes more sense to perform tradition open surgery.
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Surgery for Impingement Syndrome
Inflammation around the rotator cuff is one of the most common reasons a shoulder surgeon in Los Angeles may recommend surgery. It’s a condition often referred to as impingement syndrome, which involves inflammation affecting the ball part of the shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint and the nearby shoulder blade. A shoulder arthroscopy is sometimes performed to explore the affected area better and ease inflammation by removing the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that counteracts friction on a joint, and part of a bony process on the shoulder blade (acromion process).
SLAP Repair Surgery
The ring of cartilage around the shoulder socket (laburnum) is sometimes damaged by a superior labrum anterior and posterior (SLAP) injury. A SLAP tear of the shoulder, which may be caused by a hard fall on an outstretched arm, a motor vehicle accident, or rapid, forceful arm movements, affects the top part of the laburnum. SLAP tears may limit arm strength since the area affected is linked to the biceps tendon. If anti-inflammatory drugs and strengthening exercises aren’t effective, a shoulder surgeon in Los Angeles may either remove the torn part of the labrum or reattach it using surgical stitches. Patients usually wear a sling for 2-4 weeks following the procedure.
Surgery for Dislocation Injuries
A shoulder dislocation occurs when some type of force or damage causes ball part of the shoulder joint to come out of the socket. If surgery is necessary to stabilize a shoulder after a dislocation, a shoulder surgeon in Los Angeles may perform a Bankart repair. It’s a procedure that involves tightening or reattaching ligaments that may have been damaged by a dislocation, usually with small bone anchors and sutures. The laburnum may also be surgically corrected with a Bankart repair. If age-related wear and relaxation of ligaments is the primary cause of repeated dislocations, surgery is sometimes performed to tighten the entire shoulder joint capsule. In some situations, bone may need to be moved around to provide better support for the ball when it’s in proper position in the socket.
Rotator Cuff Procedures
Rotator cuff repair is another common procedure performed by a shoulder surgeon. The specific type of surgery performed will depend on factors such as the nature of the tear, whether or not nearby tissues are affected, and a patient’s overall health. The goal with any type of rotator cuff surgery is to restore stability and mobility. Traditional rotator cuff repair requires larger incisions. Newer methods involve arthroscopic techniques performed with smaller incisions and specialized instruments. Some patients benefit more from a hybrid mini-open procedure that allows for a more direct view of the affected area.
Surgery for Acromioclavicular Joint Problems
People who weight-lift on a regular basis or participate in activities that place a lot of stress the shoulder joint may experience damage to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. Located where the shoulder blade and collarbone meet, the AC joint can become damaged due to trauma or wear out over time from progressive conditions like arthritis. Surgery may involve removing the end of the collarbone to make more room for the AC joint. If instability that has resulted in shoulder separation is the main problem, the ligaments that provide support at the end of the collarbone may be reconstructed surgically.
This type of shoulder surgery is typically reserved for situations where the joint has been severely damaged by arthritis of the shoulder. Replacement usually involves replacing the worn out or damaged joint with a metal ball and a plastic socket. In some instances, the entire joint may not need replaced. Depending on the circumstances, only the ball may be replaced with a procedure called a hemiarthroplasty. For patients with rotator cuff tear arthropathy that includes damage to the joint and rotator cuff, a reverse shoulder replacement may be done – the position of the ball and socket are reversed to improve stability.
A shoulder surgeon in Los Angeles can also provide tips on how to prevent re-injury following your procedure. If you’re athletic or have a job that involves repetitious arm and shoulder movements, for instance, you may be advised to do proper warm-ups before playing sports and modify your movements as much as possible to avoid over-stressing healing shoulder muscles. Getting regular sleep, which allows your body to naturally heal, and adjusting your diet to include foods that naturally fight inflammation can also help keep your shoulder joint and its supporting tissues healthy.