The 3 Most Common Types of Shoulder Surgeries

Patients are referred for shoulder surgery to repair and restore function to a damaged shoulder joint. Injury, inflammatory disease, and wear and tear are common causes of shoulder damage. Surgery is an option when the damage to the shoulder joint is extensive or nonsurgical treatments fail to provide adequate pain relief.

Michael Klassen, MD, board-certified orthopedic surgeon, specializes in shoulder & knee surgery, using arthroscopic surgical approaches. In this post, we discuss common shoulder surgeries in more detail.

Shoulder joint anatomy

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint like the hip. It’s composed of three bones: upper arm bone (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and the collarbone (clavicle)

You can think of the shoulder as a golf ball sitting on a tee. The head of the humerus is the ball, and the shoulder bone is the socket (glenoid). To hold the shoulder in place, the socket is surrounded by strong tissue (labrum). It enables the shoulder to move without falling out of the socket and is an attachment point for the bicep tendon and several shoulder ligaments.

SLAP shoulder repair

The labrum is stabilizing ring cartilage that helps hold the shoulder joint in place. Superior labrum anterior and posterior (SLAP) repair is a minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to repair a specific type of labral tear in the shoulder to joint.

SLAP tears occur when the top part of the labrum that attaches to the biceps tendon is damaged. When you have a labrum tear, Dr. Klassen will discuss several options for treatment, including SLAP repair.

The type of SLAP repair depends on the type of tear involved. After using the arthroscope to fully view the joint and visualize the type of year, Dr. Klassen will determine the best approach.

To perform arthroscopic SLAP repair, Dr. Klassen makes very small incisions to insert the arthroscope and surgical instruments into the shoulder joint. Depending on the type of SLAP tear, Dr. Klassen may only need to remove damaged tissue from the labrum or secure the torn part of the labrum using sutures.

Rotator cuff repair

The rotator cuff provides flexibility to the shoulder so that you can move your arms above your head and down behind you. A tear in the rotator cuff can cause significant pain and limit the function of your arm.

When performing a rotator cuff repair, Dr. Klassen identifies the damaged part of the rotator cuff and reattaches any torn or damaged tendons. Rotator cuff repair is done using an arthroscopic approach. This involves placing anchors in the shoulder bone to reattach the tendon with sutures securely.

Dr. Klassen is devoted to helping you get back to leading a pain-free, active life. Whether you’re struggling with a rotator cuff tear or a torn ligament, Dr. Klassen has the experience to restore function so that you can return to the things you enjoy.

If you’re dealing with an orthopedic problem that isn’t responding to nonsurgical treatments, give us a call to schedule a consultation with Dr. Klassen. We have an office in Monterey.

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