Our shoulders are one of the most crucial and mobile joints within our bodies. They support a number of everyday activities. Because of this, when our shoulders are injured, it can cause a loss of function that limits regular activity. Additionally, should injuries cause nagging discomfort that can distract you from enjoying everyday life.
But what is the most common shoulder surgery? The most common type of shoulder surgery is rotator cuff surgery. Typically, overuse and trauma are what cause damage to the rotator cuff.
In some instances where the tear is partial, surgery may not be required. Though in serious cases, rotator cuff surgery is necessary to restore joint function and ease pain and discomfort.
The Goal of Rotator Cuff Surgery
In a rotator cuff surgery procedure, the surgeon will start by identifying which part of the rotator cuff is damaged. Once that area is identified, the surgeon can begin reattaching any tendons that are torn or have damage. The goal of the surgeon is to restore the tendon while avoiding any excessive stretching of the healthy tissue that remains.
Types of Rotator Cuff Surgery
There are three different types of routine rotator cuff repairs. The first type, which is the more traditional approach, is an open rotator cuff repair. This approach requires the surgeon to make an incision that’s several inches long. This allows them to repair the rotator cuff directly while avoiding any surrounding muscle.
The second option, which is less common, is to perform the surgery arthroscopically. This type of surgery is for more minor injuries to the rotator cuff. It is also a minimally invasive type of surgery.
The last type of rotator cuff surgery is a hybrid version. Surgeons use this surgery for cases with more extensive damage. Hybrid rotator cuff surgery involves placing anchors in the shoulder bone that allow tendons to securely attach to them.
Instances When Rotator Cuff Surgery is Not Possible
In some circumstances, rotator cuff surgery is not possible. This is typically the case when there is a massive tear in the rotator cuff, as it is too difficult for surgeons to repair the tissues.
Other Types of Common Shoulder Surgeries
There are a wide variety of common shoulder surgeries that take place aside from rotator cuff surgery. The types that you should be familiar with include:
- Shoulder Impingement Surgery
- SLAP Repair
- Shoulder Dislocation
- Frozen Shoulder
- Acromioclavicular Joint Repairs
- Shoulder Replacement
- Biceps Tendon Surgery
Following rotator cuff surgery, frozen shoulder surgery is the second most common type of procedure.
Shoulder surgeries are safe and effective, however they don’t come without risks. Complications can arise, though they are uncommon. Additionally, the risk of complications decreases if the patient properly takes care of the shoulder post-surgery.
As with any surgery, you should always have a conversation with your surgeon about the benefits and risks associated with the procedure. Then you can either make an informed decision on your own, or seek a second opinion.