Shoulder Surgery in New Orleans, LA
Allowing the arm to rotate in many positions, the shoulder is the joint with the greatest range of motion in the body; however, this great flexibility also makes the shoulder susceptible to instability and possible injury.
While each case is unique, delaying necessary surgical repair of a shoulder can increase the probability that the injury will be more complicated to treat in the future.
Anatomy of the Shoulder
The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint composed of three bones: the upper arm bone (humerus), collarbone (clavicle), and the shoulder blade (scapula). The end of the upper arm bone fits into a small socket (glenoid) within the shoulder blade to form the shoulder joint, also known as the glenohumeral joint.
The shoulder is supported and stabilized by a number of muscles and tendons connected to the joint. The shoulder socket is protected by soft-tissue called the labrum, which allows the humeral head to move within the glenoid more easily. The rotator cuff, another component of the shoulder, is a set of muscles and tendons that attach the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade, and cover the shoulder joint and joint capsule. The muscles attached to the rotator cuff enable patients to rotate and move the arm in their daily activities. The bursa, a sac-like membrane between the rotator cuff and the shoulder blade, pads and lubricates the motion between these two structures.
Common causes of Shoulder Pain
Resulting from a variety of causes, shoulder pain is a common condition affecting millions of Americans. It is important for a patient to seek treatment sooner rather than later, as the injury can become harder to treat as time passes. The main causes of shoulder pain include, but are not limited to: bursitis, rotator cuff tear, instability, joint separation, fracture, and the different types of arthritis.
Bursitis, also known as tendinitis, usually occurs from the overuse of the shoulder joint through repetitive activities, such as weight lifting, painting, or throwing a baseball. These activities lead to great amount of friction and squeezing of the joint. Adjustments to the level of activity and a rehabilitation program can effectively alleviate this condition’s symptoms.
The rotator cuff can be torn through a single traumatic injury, overuse of the muscles and tendons, or as a result of a common wear-and-tear. In many cases, nonsurgical treatment can effectively treat this condition; however, the orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery if the condition does not improve, or if the tear is the result of a recent traumatic injury where the resulting pain is not tolerable by the patient.
Dislocation of the shoulder, also known as shoulder instability, often occurs when the head of the humerus is forced out of the shoulder socket. This condition can be the result of sudden injury or from the overuse of the shoulder ligaments. Instability can be categorized in two ways: traditional dislocation and subluxations, or partial dislocation. Patients with repeated dislocations usually require surgical treatment, such as arthroscopic surgical repair. This procedure is often done on an outpatient basis. After the surgical procedure, a rehabilitation program is necessary to ensure correct healing.
Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis, occurs when the articular surface of the joint wears thin. Osteoarthritis is often seen in patients over age 50, and in patients with a family history of osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, is often associates with chronic inflammation of the synovium lining, which can produce chemicals that eventually destroy the inner lining of the joint, including the articular surface. While Rheumatoid Arthritis can be controlled through treatment, the condition cannot be cured.
In some cases, delay in treatment for arthritis causes the shoulder joint to become aggravated, which weakens the muscles and tendons and makes movement of the joint even more difficult. If pain persists, it is recommended that the patient go see an orthopedic surgeon for proper treatment.
Types of Surgical Procedures
Arthroscopic techniques allow Dr. Junius a view of the shoulder joint through a special camera inserted through a small incision. The camera displays an image of the joint on a TV monitor, allowing the doctor to make a more accurate diagnosis. If the doctor decides to operate on the patient, other instruments can be inserted through small incisions in the area. This procedure is often done on an outpatient basis.
Dependent on each case and the patient’s injury, open surgery may be necessary to effectively treat shoulder pain.
Recovery and rehabilitation is often critical to the successful treatment of a shoulder injury; however, the specific recovery and rehabilitation program depends on the condition of the patient and the type of surgery performed on the patient. Dr. Junius will advise the patient on the best method of rehabilitation to ensure the most comfortable and effective recovery possible.
Dr. Junius at Crescent City Orthopedics has extensive experience with minimally invasive shoulder surgery. Although not all patients are candidates for minimally invasive procedures, a shoulder injury is treated using the smallest incision possible. Please ask your surgeon about these procedures to determine if you are a candidate. To make an appointment with Dr. Junius please call our Metairie office at (504) 309-6500 or request an appointment online.