About Shoulder Surgery
As the most flexible joint in the body, the shoulder is susceptible to several different types of injuries. In some cases, nonsurgical treatment options may be effective at treating these injuries. However, if nonsurgical treatment is not effective, or an injury is more severe in nature, there are several surgical options available to treat shoulder injuries.
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. The ball-shaped head of the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into a socket in the shoulder blade. Articular cartilage lines the joint, and the synovium reduces friction within the joint. A group of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff holds the joint in place and aids in movement of the shoulder. Injuries to any of these components can lead to beam and reduced function in the shoulder.
Arthroscopy can be used to both diagnose and treat certain injuries within the shoulder. Arthroscopy allows Dr. Cahill to perform some shoulder procedures through smaller incisions than would be necessary with a traditional open procedure. A small camera called an arthroscope is inserted into a small incision in the shoulder, which allows Dr. Cahill to view the structures of the joint without having to make a large incision. Other small incisions are made to insert the operating instruments.
Arthroscopy can be employed in the removal of bone spurs, inflamed tissue, and loose cartilage. It may also be used to repair a torn labrum or rotator cuff. Arthroscopic surgery often results in a quicker recovery time and less pain when compared with open surgery. In many cases, patients are able to return home the day of surgery.
Rotator Cuff Repair
Rotator cuff tears are among the most common shoulder injuries in adults. The rotator cuff both supports the shoulder and allows for a full range of motion. A tear in one or more of the rotator cuff tendons can result in significant shoulder weakness. Tears can occur with an acute injury or with wear and tear to the shoulder over time.
Nonsurgical treatment may be helpful in managing the pain that occurs with a rotator cuff tear, but surgery is often needed to improve strength in the shoulder. There are a few different surgical options available for rotator cuff repair, depending on the severity of the tear.
Arthroscopy can be used for a rotator cuff repair, resulting in a less invasive procedure. In a traditional open rotator cuff repair, the deltoid muscle must be detached in order to view the shoulder. With arthroscopy, the deltoid muscle does not need to be detached, which may result in less postoperative pain. Sometimes, a combination of arthroscopy and open techniques may be used to complete the surgery.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Shoulder replacement surgery can be helpful in reducing shoulder pain caused by arthritis. Arthritis can damage the cartilage that lines the shoulder joint, leading to pain, stiffness, and loss of function in the shoulder. Shoulder arthritis is generally treated with nonsurgical methods initially, but surgery may be an option if nonsurgical treatment does not lead to improvement.
During a shoulder replacement procedure, the damaged portions of the shoulder are removed and replaced with prosthetic components. The ball portion of the joint at the top of the upper arm is replaced with a metal ball. The metal ball is attached to a stem that is inserted into the upper arm. The shoulder socket is then lined with a plastic cup to allow the metal ball to glide smoothly when moving the shoulder. In some cases, if the damage is limited to just the ball portion of the joint, the socket may be left in its natural state.
Shoulder replacement surgery will generally require a longer recovery time than arthroscopic shoulder surgery, but many patients with a shoulder replacement experience improved strength and function in the shoulder with less pain.
Shoulder Surgery in Hackensack, NJ
Dr. James Cahill specializes in a variety of orthopedic procedures, including shoulder arthroscopy, rotator cuff repair, and shoulder replacement surgery. If nonsurgical treatment does not improve pain and function in the shoulder, Dr. Cahill offers advanced surgical options to treat the problem. If you would like to learn more about shoulder surgery with Dr. Cahill or schedule an appointment for an evaluation, please contact our office at (201) 489-0022.