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Treatment of Shoulder Disorders

AC Joint Repair and Reconstruction

The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is the meeting point of the acromion and clavicle bones, often indicated with a visible bump in the area. AC joint injuries often occur as a result of a fall or other trauma, which may cause the acromion to move or separate from the clavicle, or cause the ligaments to be stretched or torn.

While conservative treatment is often used first for AC joint injuries, surgery may be required for injuries that are more severe or those that cause prolonged pain. Surgery for AC joint injuries may involve removing the end or restoring the position of the clavicle to relieve pain and allow the patient to resume normal functioning of the joint.

These procedures may be performed through arthroscopy or through a traditional open procedure, depending on the type and severity of each patient's individual condition. Arthroscopy offers patients smaller incisions, shorter recovery times and less trauma. Your surgeon will decide which type of procedure is best for you after a thorough evaluation of your condition.

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Rotator Cuff Repair

The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that support the shoulder joint and allow for complete movement while keeping the ball of the arm bone in the shoulder socket. These tendons and muscles may become torn or otherwise damaged from injury or overuse and can lead to pain, weakness and inflammation. Surgery may be used to treat this often serious condition.

Rotator cuff surgery may be performed laparoscopically or through an open procedure, depending on the type and severity of the condition. Both procedures are performed under general anesthesia and aim to reattach the tendon back to the arm, along with removing any loose fragments from the shoulder area.

Rotator cuff repair surgery is usually successful in relieving shoulder pain, although full strength cannot always be restored. Recovery time depends on the type of surgery, but can take several months. As with any surgery, there are certain risks involved with rotator cuff repair such as infection, pain or stiffness, nerve damage or the need for repeated surgery. These complications are rare and most people receive successful outcomes from this procedure.

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Shoulder Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that involves several small incisions into which a fiber-optic device (arthroscope) and tiny surgical instruments are inserted. Orthopaedic surgeons can diagnose and treat many different shoulder conditions with arthroscopy, while patients can benefit from less tissue damage, shorter recovery times, less scarring and less post-operative pain. This technique also avoids cutting any muscles or tendons in order to gain access to the affected area.

Shoulder arthroscopy is often performed to confirm a diagnosis after a physical examination and other imaging procedures have been performed. Some conditions can also be treated during the same procedure by inserting a few additional instruments into the joint area.

Arthroscopy can be used to treat many conditions that affect the shoulder joint. Shoulder arthroscopy, also known as shoulder scope, can be used to treat:

  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Labral tears
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Biceps tendonitis
  • AC joint arthritis

While arthroscopy offers many benefits over a traditional open procedure, it is not for everybody. Some conditions, especially those that are not easily visible with the arthroscopic camera, may be better suited for traditional surgery. Your doctor will decide which type of procedure is right for you.

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