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Shoulder Treatment Has Advanced, Too

   Like the hip, knee, back, and ankle, treatment options of the shoulder have advanced in recent years. More orthopaedic physicians today are using arthroscopic techniques over traditional open surgery to repair shoulder injuries, and patients are benefiting.

Arthroscopic surgery entails using smaller incisions. It can be used to treat two common shoulder problems: shoulder instability and a rotator cuff tear. Shoulder instability often results from a traumatic injury suffered by a younger, active person, while baby boomers and seniors are more likely to sustain a rotator cuff tear that can result from typical wear and tear.

Smaller incisions mean less tissue is damaged during the surgery. This can result in quicker recovery time, decreased postoperative pain, and less scarring. Results of patients who have undergone arthroscopic surgery have proven as successful or better than traditional open shoulder surgery.

Today, there are more orthopaedic physicians who specialize in the treatment of shoulder injuries and disorders and who are trained in arthroscopic techniques. Like all surgical procedures, conservative treatment options are explored first.

September 2008

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