The shoulder is a “ball-and-socket” joint made up of the upper arm bone (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula) and collarbone (clavicle). This joint is the most flexible one in the body and allows for a full range of motion, but also makes the shoulder a common source of injury and instability.
Some of the most common shoulder conditions include:
- Rotator cuff tear
- Labral Tear
- Frozen Shoulder
While many of these conditions can be effectively managed through nonsurgical techniques, surgery is often needed to thoroughly correct the condition and allow patients to maintain an active and healthy life.
Shoulder Fracture: A fracture is a partial or complete crack through a bone. It is usually caused by an impact injury such as a direct blow or a fall, and can result in severe pain and limited movement. Shoulder fractures may involve the clavicle (collarbone), proximal humerus (top of the arm bone), and scapula (shoulder blade). Other bones and soft tissues may be affected as well.
Frozen Shoulder: also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is a common condition that causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder as a result of a tightening or thickening of the capsule that protects the structures of the shoulder. Although the specific cause of this condition is not known, it most often occurs after recent immobilization of the joint or as a complication of diabetes. Frozen shoulder most often affects patients between the ages of 40 and 60.
Treatments and Procedures
Rotator Cuff Repair: The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that support the shoulder joint and allow for complete movement while keeping the ball of the arm bone in the shoulder socket. Rotator cuff surgery may be performed laparoscopically or through an open procedure, depending on the type and severity of the condition. Both procedures are performed under general anesthesia and aim to reattach the tendon back to the arm, along with removing any loose fragments from the shoulder area. Rotator Cuff Repair
Labral Tear Surgery: A labrum is a protective cuff of cartilage found in the shoulder that provides stability, cushioning and a full range of motion. A tear in the labrum, known as a labral tear, is caused by injury or overuse and can lead to pain and “catching” of the joint while moving. Labral repair aims to repair unstable shoulders with staples, anchors or sutures. It is usually performed using arthroscopy, which allows the surgeon to view the tear through a small camera and perform the procedure through tiny incisions. Larger tears may require an open procedure. Labral Repair
Stabilization: The shoulder can often become dislocated or slip partially out of the joint, a condition known as subluxation. Shoulder stabilization can be performed through an arthroscopic procedure that may involve reattaching loose or torn ligaments to the joint with the use of special implants called suture anchors. These anchors are used to relocate and tighten injured structures, and then disintegrate over time. Depending on the individual patient’s joint stability, shoulder stabilization surgery can also repair tears of the biceps muscle tendon, a damaged rotator cuff, or tighten the shoulder capsule. Bankart Repair
Arthroscopy: Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to treat many shoulder conditions by inserting a fiber-optic device and tiny surgical instruments into small incisions. Patients can benefit from less tissue damage, shorter recovery times and less scarring with arthroscopic techniques. This procedure can also be used for diagnostic purposes after a physical examination and other imaging procedures have been performed. Arthroscopy
Standard Total Shoulder Replacement: Severe shoulder conditions with persistent symptoms that have not responded well to conservative treatments may benefit from shoulder replacement surgery. Shoulder replacement surgery replaces the damaged joint with an artificial one that allows patients to enjoy painless motion and resume their regular activities.
During the shoulder replacement procedure, the damaged bone and cartilage are replaced with a metal and plastic implant that helps relieve pain, stiffness and swelling, while improving range of motion and allowing patients to resume their regular activities. Total Shoulder Replacement
Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement: This is a relatively new design of shoulder replacement designed for patients with shoulder arthritis and massive tearing of the rotator cuff. In this design, the “ball” of the shoulder joint is on the shoulder blade and the “socket” is on the humerus, hence the name: “reverse” shoulder replacement. The advantage of this design over the standard shoulder replacement in this patient group is that it allows for raising the arm above shoulder level wihic is not possible using the standar design in patients without a functioning rotator cuff. Reverse Shoulder Replacement
Rehabilitation Exercise Instructions: Shoulder Exercise Sheet
Who to Contact
Upon setting up an appointment the below doctors can answer your questions and concerns regarding various conditions and treatment options: