Every year, shoulder problems send many people to their doctor for relief. The prevalence of shoulder injuries reflects the particular vulnerability of this joint but does not indicate that our shoulders aren’t “up to the job” of performing at optimal levels. The shoulder joint is simply one of the most complexes in the body. It must support a wide range of movements and therefore has many moving parts. As you know, the more moving parts to existing in anything, the greater the risk of malfunction.
So what do we do when the shoulder malfunctions?
This is a great question. Shoulder injuries do not always occur suddenly or from trauma. Sometimes, weakness, tenderness, and limited range of motion occur over time due to degeneration and overuse. Our initial approach to most complaints of shoulder pain is to act conservatively. Non-surgical management may involve splinting to support natural healing, medication to control pain, and physical therapy to rehabilitate proper mechanics in the joint and surrounding structures.
If an injury is obviously too severe for non-surgical therapies or does not respond well to that type of treatment, we consider surgery to improve the stability of the shoulder joint. Usually, arthroscopy is a primary consideration.
What is shoulder arthroscopy?
Arthroscopic surgeries are preferable in many cases because of their non-invasive nature. Rather than make a substantial incision to observe, diagnose, and repair internal structures, arthroscopy does so with a tiny mounted camera at the end of a thin tube. The size of the tube and camera are so small that the incision needed is a fraction of that needed for open surgery.
Are You a Candidate?
There are some reasons why a shoulder may need to be stabilized to attain greater comfort and to halt instances of dislocation and limited range of motion. Some of the problems for which arthroscopy may be performed include:
- Biceps tendon injury
- Rotator cuff tear or another injury
- Shoulder instability
- Loose cartilage or tissue in the shoulder joint
- Labrum injury
- Bone spurs in the shoulder joint
At Advanced Orthopedics & Hand Surgery, we consider surgery as a last resort treatment for shoulder injuries and chronic pain. To discuss your options for treatment, call our Wayne, NJ office at (973) 942-1315.