Types of Shoulder Surgery

Shoulder surgery repairs a damaged, degenerated, or diseased shoulder joint. Shoulder surgery commonly repairs rotator cuff tears, shoulder dislocations, and shoulder separations. Shoulder surgery can potentially help restore pain-free range of motion as well as allow the full function to a damaged shoulder joint. 

Dr. Kamal Bohsali states, "There are a variety of procedures that are performed for the shoulder to address injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures, and arthritis. These procedures vary from minimally invasive, such as arthroscopic surgery, to open procedures such as shoulder replacement surgery. When possible, our surgeons perform arthroscopic procedures that accelerate recovery time and minimize the risk to healthy tissues. We generally recommend surgery when you have not improved with non-operative measures."

Dr. Kamal Bohsali, is a board certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon with special interests in the management of pathologic conditions of the shoulder and elbow.

Types of Shoulder Surgery JOIImage of types of shoulder surgery

Here are the Types of Shoulder Surgery

Rotator Cuff Tear Repair

  • Open Repair: If your rotator cuff tear is quite complex or large your MD might choose this type of shoulder surgery to fully reattach the shoulder muscle/tendon. Sometimes bone spurs or other types of reconstruction may be performed.  
  • Arthroscopic Repair: This type of shoulder surgery will use a small camera which will use small instruments inside small incisions around your shoulder. This is a less invasive shoulder surgery and is usually done on an outpatient basis
  • Mini Open Repair: This type of shoulder surgery will require about 3 to 5-centimeter incision and will require an arthroscopy to remove bone spurs and other damage.  

Want to learn more about rotator cuff tear symptoms? Go to: 5 Best Rotator Cuff Exercise for a Tear.

 Physical Therapy is a very important aspect following this repair.

Types of Shoulder SurgeryRotator Cuff Anatomy

SLAP Lesion Repair

SLAP Lesion Repair is a minimally invasive arthroscopic shoulder surgery which uses a tiny camera and miniature surgical instruments to repair the damaged area. A SLAP tear occurs in the top (superior), the front (anterior) and back (posterior) of the point where the biceps tendon attaches to the Glenoid Labrum. The term SLAP is an acronym for Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior.  Physical Therapy after this surgery is quite extensive and it can take several months to return to the full prior level of function. 

SLAP Repair Sugery for the Glenoid LabrumImage of the Glenoid Labrum

Biceps Tenodesis

Biceps Tenodesis shoulder surgery is usually performed in the event of a biceps tendon tear, SLAP tear or bicep tendonitis. The surgeon usually will cut the biceps tendon from the shoulder joint and anchors it to the humerus bone. This will help decrease the pressure on the tendon 

Total Shoulder Replacement

Total Shoulder Replacement surgery is usually performed depending on the severity of your shoulder tear as well if other shoulder surgeries have failed. There are different types of total shoulder replacement surgery.

  • Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement: The total shoulder joint is replaced, but the ball and socket switch places.
  • Total Shoulder Replacement: The total shoulder joint is replaced with either metal and plastic but the ball and socket remain in the same position. 
  • Stemmed Hemiarthroplasty: Only the ball aspect of the shoulder joint is either replaced with a metal ball and stem. 
  • Resurfacing Hemiarthroplasty: The cap of the ball joint is either replaced with a prosthesis.

JOI Rehab treats all shoulder injuriesPhysical Therapy for Shoulder Surgery

There are many other types of surgeries for the shoulder depending on the injury:

-Sub-acromial decompression for impingement

By: Ehren Allen, DPT, COMT

Also if you have recently had a shoulder surgery watch our video on How to Properly Put on an UltraSling 4 or Dressing the Upper Body After an Injury or Surgery

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