Shoulder surgeries are a last resort, but sometimes, they are the only means of alleviating chronic, debilitating pain. When all else fails, it’s possible that shoulder surgery can restore full movement and power.
If you believe surgery is your only option, it’s time to speak to a surgeon at Outpatient Services East about your options and what you can expect.
However, until that time, here is a brief list of common shoulder surgeries, what they involve and what you can expect.
Debridement is a procedure when all other procedures (such as physical therapy, injections and oral pain medications, etc.) have failed. In short, it involves poking two to three tiny holes around the shoulder and “cleaning out” the inflamed tissue, scar tissue and any bone spurs. This allows healthy tissue to grow and function. The surgeon will also clean out any debris from the shoulder joint. The procedure and recovery time are comparatively short at less than an hour and two to four weeks, respectively.
This procedure is associated with the trauma of a dislocated shoulder. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. This allows you a wide range of motion when it comes to your hand, but there is a drawback. The joint is relatively shallow and in order to keep the “ball in place” the body develops a soft tissue “bumper” around the joint. You can guess what happens to this soft tissue when the joint dislocates: It tears.
Sometimes the body heals on its own, but sometimes it doesn;t. When the pain persists, surgery might be the right choice. Typically, the Bankart Procedure is successful in stabilizing the shoulder. The procedure involves placing anchors into the shoulder socket, looping thread around the capsule and labrum and allowing the shoulder the stability needed to heal properly. This surgery takes roughly an hour, and the recovery process runs between four to six weeks, with full recovery within four months.
Rotator Cuff tears happen, especially as we get older. The cause could be something as benign as an awkward stretch or as traumatic as a fall. Sometimes, we don’t even know what caused the tear. We know it HURTS and it’s debilitating.
When your rotator cuff is working , you have a full range of motion and strength. When it isn’t, the upper portion of the arm bone is bumping against the roof of the shoulder making it difficult to move your arm above your head(or worse) and causing a loss of strength. Imagine not being able to grab a soda from the fridge and pop the top. That’s how bad it can get.
The means of repairing a rotator cuff tear is similar to the Bankart Procedure. Small anchors are placed in the bone and the shoulder is stabilized via loops of thread tied back to the bone. The procedure takes about an hour and a half with the typical recovery taking four to six months with full recovery taking up to a year.
Once cartilage is gone; it is gone. There’s nothing to do to regrow cartilage. It’s at that point, it’s time to consider shoulder replacement surgery. There are three types of shoulder surgery: hemi-arthroplasty, total shoulder arthroplasty and reverse total shoulder replacement. The recovery time for each of these surgeries is three to four months with a full recovery made within a year. Consult with your doctor to determine which is right for you.
Considering shoulder surgery? Call Outpatient Services East at 205-838-3888 to schedule a consultation. We are happy to help in any way we can.