Reviving the Beauty of Shoulder Movement
Of all possible shoulder injuries, rotator cuffs claim the highest number of victims. Active people are frequently affected; repetitive motions in swimming, tennis, and weight-lifting all place some strain on the shoulder. But you don’t have to be an athlete to have a shoulder injury. We’ve seen cases where simply hanging the wash on a clothesline or weeding the garden resulted in pain.
Some Common Shoulder Problems:
- Instability, where the shoulder joint is forced out of its normal position. This can make it difficult to raise the arm.
- Impingement is caused by muscles rubbing against the top part of the shoulder blade (the acromion). It tends to occur in sports that require a great deal of overhead arm motion.
- The infamous rotator cuff injury, which involves a group of muscles and tendons supporting the bones of the shoulder joint. This condition is frequently found in professional painters, carpenters, and tennis players– anyone whose work requires them to perform overhead movements. While it’s possible to recover from a rotator cuff injury with exercise and physical therapy, a complete tear of the muscle or tendon may require surgery.
Some shoulder injuries may be treated with arthroscopy– whereby tiny incisions are made in the tissue, and surgery is performed via those incisions. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a very common procedure, with approximately 1.4 million patients receiving this treatment each year.
Shoulder Arthroscopy may be recommended for:
- Torn or damaged cartilage or ligaments;
- Shoulder instability;
- Torn or damaged biceps tendon;
- Torn rotator cuff;
- Shoulder impingement;
- Bone spurs;
- Inflammation of the lining of the joint;
Reverse Shoulder Replacement
The other alternative, if surgery is required, is called open surgery. In this procedure, the surgeon makes a larger incision which allows him to view the shoulder directly.
Your recovery time will depend on the type of injury and treatment that was performed. Generally patients return to full activity within a few months.
Your rehabilitation will include physical therapy and exercises to strengthen the shoulder.
The first step towards relieving your shoulder problems is to have Dr. Jesse Shaw perform a medical exam and assess your medical history. He will note any swelling, weakness or instability and check your range of motion, among other factors. Dr. Shaw may also order diagnostic imaging tests such as x-rays or MRI.
For general information about hip replacement surgery see the National Institutes of Health (NIH)web site.
Common Questions about Shoulder Surgery
What is the most common surgery on the shoulder?
One of the most common procedures done on the shoulder is shoulder arthroscopy. It is less invasive than open shoulder surgery, and can work both as a diagnostic tool and as treatment.
It can help address several shoulder conditions, including rotator cuff injury, impengement syndrome, osteoarthritis, and Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior (SLAP), among others.
To see whether arthroscopy, or any other type of shoulder surgery, is recommended for you, you can reach out to our specialists at All-Pro Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Florida.
What is the average recovery time for shoulder surgery?
Recovery time varies from one individual to another, depending on the severity of the injury, the type of surgery you had, as well as your health prior to the procedure. However, in general, it takes a patient around three to six months to fully recover.
This includes the post-operative period which usually lasts around 6 weeks, the immobilization period wherein your arm movements will be restricted using a sling, as well as physical therapy. Some people may also need to undergo a rehabilitation program.
Discussing follow-up care with your doctor and sticking to their recommended plan is important to ensure the success of your shoulder’s healing process.
Is shoulder surgery major surgery?
Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure which involves smaller incisions than traditional surgery.
On the other hand, shoulder replacement, which requires your doctor to make a large incision to perform the procedure, is considered major, open surgery.
More severe cases such as a broken bone could require major surgery, while arthroscopy may be recommended for some minor shoulder injuries. Our specialists will go over your options with you to see which would fit best.
What are the signs of needing shoulder surgery?
One of the more obvious signs that you need shoulder surgery is if you are having trouble sleeping due to pain.
Having persistent pain that restricts you from going about your everyday activities can also be a sign that you need to have your shoulder checked. If the pain spreads over time, beyond one area of your shoulder, this is a cause for concern as well.
Weakness, stiffness, or impaired movement in the affected arm are also clear signs that you at least should see an orthopedic specialist.
Is it worth getting shoulder surgery?
If you are experiencing shoulder pain that non-surgical treatments have not been able to resolve, it is worth considering surgery. It’s found to be beneficial for those whose injuries are interfering with their daily tasks.
Shoulder replacement surgeries, for instance, are found to be generally safe and effective, with recovered patients regaining function most of the time. Sometimes, surgery is the only option to relieve pain and restore mobility.
Before recommending surgery, a specialist will make a full medical assessment to see whether it is the right treatment for you.
How risky is a shoulder surgery?
As with most surgical procedures, there are certain risks involved. However, the rate of complications that arise from shoulder surgeries, including shoulder replacement, is generally considered low. A less invasive procedure like arthroscopy is generally more safe than open surgery.
Among the possible complications of shoulder surgery are those involving anesthesia, such as stroke and blood clots, infection, and rotator cuff damage.
While it’s relatively safe to undergo shoulder surgery, it’s best to have a team of experts with access to the latest technology before, during, and after your procedure.