Arthroscopic & Open Shoulder Surgery

What is shoulder surgery?

If you are suffering from shoulder pain or impaired mobility due to a shoulder condition, injury, or other shoulder-related problems, surgery may be an appropriate treatment option when nonsurgical treatment is ineffective. Shoulder surgery can be performed as traditional open surgery or as an arthroscopic procedure, also known as shoulder arthroscopy. Open surgery typically involves one complete, sometimes large, surgical incision that gives your doctor complete access to the desired procedure area. A shoulder arthroscopy involves a few small keyhole-sized incisions, versus one full incision, to allow your doctor to access certain areas of the procedure site.

The type of surgery that your doctor recommends will depend on your medical needs — some procedures may require full access to the surgical site, while other procedures may only require limited access to the surgical site.

Why is shoulder surgery needed?

If you are experiencing shoulder pain or other shoulder-related symptoms that are interfering with daily routines and activities, surgery may be recommended when conservative treatment is ineffective. Shoulder surgery can be used to help treat various types of shoulder-related injuries and conditions, including:

Shoulder procedures performed via surgery may include:

  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Ligament repair
  • SLAP repair
  • Bone spur removal
  • Extraction of swollen tissue or loose cartilage
  • Recurrent shoulder dislocation repair
  • Shoulder replacement

What does shoulder surgery involve?

Shoulder surgery can be performed as one of two types of surgery — open surgery or arthroscopic surgery — each involving different approaches, pros, cons, recovery times, and results. Platelet-rich plasma therapy may also be recommended during surgery to help promote healing and enhance recovery time.

A shoulder arthroscopy involves your doctor making a limited number of small keyhole-sized incisions near the required area of operation. Your doctor will then gently introduce a thin medical device equipped with a light and camera into the appropriate incision holes. A TV monitor then displays images of the shoulder, allowing your doctor to view the surgical site on screen, assess your joint, and complete any required treatment.

Open surgery typically involves your doctor making one large, complete incision in order to view the full area of operation. Once the incision is made, your doctor can directly view the site of surgery and complete the procedure.

After open shoulder surgery or arthroscopic shoulder surgery, you can expect to experience slight pain, tenderness, and stiffness around the site of surgery.

What are the benefits of shoulder surgery?

Shoulder surgery may be beneficial if you have a shoulder-related condition and have tried conservative treatment options but are still experiencing symptoms that are interfering with your daily activities. Shoulder surgery can help:

  • Restore quality of life
  • Improve mobility
  • Alleviate pain

If you are experiencing shoulder pain or a decrease in shoulder mobility, a consultation with an orthopedic specialist may be the first step towards discovering a treatment and recovery plan that is right for you. Dr. Burrus is an experienced fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who is dedicated to providing high-quality, specialized holistic care. Call 512.477.6341 or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment.