Shoulder Surgery

Shoulder surgery at Bay Area Orthopaedic & Sports Specialists

Whether you are pushing, pulling, or lifting something, your shoulder muscles come into play. They are also a key factor in aesthetics – broad shoulders make you look strong and confident and can even make you look slim and trim. The shoulders are made up of 8 very important muscles that form the outer shape of both the shoulder and underarm. The proper functioning of these muscles is essential to help in a wide variety of movements.

Treating Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can become a long-term problem if it is not attended to by a specialist.

At the Bay Area Orthopaedic & Sports Specialists practice, we understand the importance of your shoulders. While treatment and therapy help in some cases, other cases require surgery. Shoulder surgery, like any other surgery, should be performed only by shoulder specialists. That’s what we do here at Bay Area Orthopaedic & Sports Specialists.

Warren J. Strudwick, Jr., M.D. is a trained orthopaedic specialist who has treated several hundreds of shoulder injuries over the last 30 years. As well as being a trusted orthopaedic surgeon, he is also known to be one of the best shoulder specialists in California.

Why you might need
shoulder surgery?

Shoulder surgery is not always necessary. Visit us for a complete evaluation of your shoulder problem. If you require surgery the earlier the better – delaying surgical repair can make the problem difficult to treat later on.

There are several medical conditions and injuries that are the root cause of shoulder pain, but not all of them call for surgery. At the Bay Area Orthopaedic & Sports Specialists practice we assess your condition and treat you accordingly.

Most often, pain is caused by a rotator cuff problem such as bursitis, tendonitis, or even a rotator cuff tear.

Here are some conditions that might require you to have shoulder surgery:

▸ Symptoms and pain continue to bother you after 3 to 6 months.
▸ Torn rotator cuff that causes weakness in your shoulder.
▸ Impingement and partial rotator cuff tears lead to chronic inflammation and the development of spurs.
▸ Full-thickness rotator cuff tears from heavy lifting or falls.
▸ Instability, when the head of the upper arm born, has been forced out of the shoulder socket (subluxations and dislocations).
▸ Fractured collarbone and acromioclavicular joint separation.
▸ Fractured head of the humerus (the bone in your arm) or proximal humerus fracture that is common in older people.
▸ Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis that destroys the shoulder joint as well as the surrounding tissue.
▸ Bursitis or tendonitis from overuse that occurs with repetitive activities

Signs you need to see
a doctor right away

Over 50% of people have symptoms that last over 18 months and suffer needlessly.

The faster you get your sore shoulder looked at, the faster treatment can begin. When you visit Bay Area Orthopaedic & Sports Specialists, Dr. Strudwick will first examine you and start with the best and most immediate course of treatment. This could mean anything from starting you on medication for your pain to physiotherapy. However, we urge you to come into our clinic at the first opportunity if:

▸ Your shoulder looks deformed
▸ Your arm or hand is weak and numb.
▸ The shoulder swells up suddenly.
▸ The pain is intense.
▸ You find it impossible to use your shoulder at all.

Types of shoulder surgery we perform at
Bay Area Orthopaedic & Sports Specialists

AC joint repair
surgery

The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is the point where the acromion and clavicle bones meet. While mild AC joint injuries often respond to non-surgical treatment such as ice, physical therapy and a sling, more severe injuries will require surgery. Surgery for AC joint injuries can involve removing the end of the clavicle or restoring the position of the clavicle to relieve pain and to allow you to resume normal activities that require the functioning of the joint.

Collarbone fracture
surgery

A break in the collarbone – also known as clavicle fracture – is a fairly common type of fracture. This type of fracture occurs when you fall on your shoulder or with an outstretched arm. The pressure on the bone makes it snap or break. While most collarbone fractures can be treated with a sling that keeps the arm and shoulder in place until the bone heals, some collarbone fractures require surgery. Surgery is required when the pieces of bone move too far out of place. Then realignment of the collarbone is required to put it back in place.

Slap tear
surgery

A slap tear injury can lead to long-term problems if it is left untreated. A slap tear surgery is a very minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery that needs to be conducted by a very professional surgeon. A tiny camera and miniature surgical instruments are used to repair the damaged area.
During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the damaged tissue and then carefully suture the torn labrum to a very small anchor that is set into the bone.

Rotator cuff repair
surgery

A rotator cuff tear is a common injury seen in people who are required to lift and rotate their arm. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles that are connected by tendons to the humerus. When a rotator cuff tears, one or more of these tendons get detached from the humerus. A rotator cuff tear can be partial or complete. Both cases might require surgery if physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), rest, and corticosteroid injections do not work.

Surgery of a complete torn rotator cuff requires reattaching the tendon to the head of the humerus. If the tear is just partial, it is repaired by stitching the tendon back to the original site. Before the surgery, the surgeon will discuss what you can expect your range of motion to be like, after the surgery.

Shoulder revision
surgery

A failed shoulder replacement is very rare, but when it does happen it usually happens because of a loosened implant, infection, dislocation, or excessive wear. If you suffer from a previously failed shoulder replacement surgery, then a shoulder revision surgery might be necessary.

The success rate of shoulder replacement surgery is extremely high (over 90%) when conducted by a specialist surgeon. Several patients end up with complete or almost completely functional shoulders, perform day-to-day activities, and even take part in low-impact sports without any pain.

Shoulder replacement
surgery

Shoulder replacement surgery involves the removal of the damaged areas of the shoulder and then replacing those parts with artificial parts. This procedure is most often performed to improve mobility and relieve pain. A fracture or even severe arthritis can require you to undergo shoulder replacement surgery. Shoulder replacement has a high success rate and is now the best option to relieve the pain caused by a variety of painful conditions of the shoulder.

Post-surgical recovery
from shoulder replacement

Postoperative care varies from one individual to another. The time it takes to recover will also vary depending on several factors such as the type of surgery, your age, and the extent of the damage.

Depending on the type of surgery you undergo, your recovery period can be anywhere up to 6 weeks. However, postoperative care will continue for several months post-surgery. During the first six months, you might experience swelling and pain. Frequent cold packs can help reduce pain and swelling.

According to your condition, you will be advised to have physical therapy sessions. During these sessions, the physiotherapist helps you perform exercises that involve passive movements without any contraction of the muscles.

After 6 to 12 weeks you will be allowed to perform small movements with a limited range of motion. Pushing and lifting are still not recommended. You should also avoid supporting the weight of your body on the affected side.

After 3 to 6 months from your surgery, strength training exercises of the muscles in the arm begin. Because of the long period of inactivity in your arm, this step is very important to regain full movement in your arm. Within a few months, you should be able to comfortably regain most of the mobility of your shoulder. 

To schedule an appointment with us at Bay Area Orthopaedics & Sports Specialists, please call 510-922-1614 or email us at boss@sportsdrs.com.

Get back in
the game