Our shoulders are among the most intricate joints in the human body. They can perform the widest range of motion of any joint, and the shoulder capsule enables the shoulder to powerfully move and lift heavy objects.
However, the shoulder’s complexity and functionality also means that it is susceptible to injury. In severe cases, doctors may recommend shoulder surgery to repair or replace damaged tissues, ultimately providing pain relief and restoring normal function.
What Are the Various Types of Shoulder Surgeries?
Let’s talk about some of the most commonly performed types of shoulder surgery:
Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery
The rotator cuff comprises the tendons of the four muscles which support the shoulder. Small or partial tears in the rotator cuff are more easily treatable than are complete tears, because a fully torn rotator cuff will likely require surgery. The main goal of rotator cuff surgery is to reconnect detached tissue and to remove excess tissue that may have formed, such as scar tissue.
The more cutting that is done during a surgical procedure, the more bleeding which may occur during the operation, the greater the risk of infection during the surgery due to the larger openings, and the longer the recovery period because more tissues must heal. Whereas traditional (open) surgery requires large incisions, arthroscopic surgery requires tiny incisions.
This type of surgery works by using an arthroscope, which is a thin medical instrument with a fiber-optic camera function and light source at its tip. Arthroscopy can be used in many types of outpatient shoulder surgery; it also works for surgeries of other joints, such as the knee and hip. The doctor can see the problems with the joint and remove damaged tissue or bone spurs. The surgeon can also repair torn tissue as necessary.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Sometimes, the damage to the shoulder joint is too great to allow for normal functioning. In this case, surgeons replace the diseased or degraded tissue with durable and biocompatible prosthetic materials.
The most common type of shoulder replacement surgery involves the complete replacement of both the ball and socket portions of the joint. Metals and plastics are used to create the prosthesis, and the surgeon may implant a metal ball at the top end of the humerus (upper arm bone). If only the humeral head (ball) is damaged, the doctor may leave the socket portion intact.
Shoulder Surgery in Maryland
Shoulder surgery comes in many variants, from minimally invasive arthroscopy to traditional open surgery. Less intensive operations, such as rotator cuff repair, focus on repairing soft tissues of the shoulder, while others fully modify the bone structure.
Both traditional and arthroscopic techniques can be used to perform shoulder surgery, and you can speak to your orthopedist about which option may be best for you. Determining the appropriate surgery type requires the expertise of experienced medical professionals who can explain to you both the costs and the benefits of each option.
Located in Lutherville and other locations across Maryland, Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder is here to help you get back to a pain-free lifestyle once again. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, contact us today by calling us at (410) 296-6232 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you get back into the swing of things!