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Orthopedic Shoulder Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ

Some conditions, such as advanced osteoarthritis or severe shoulder injuries, simply can’t be adequately treated with non-invasive means. The team at Desert Orthopedic Specialists will attempt all available non-invasive treatment options for shoulder pain before resorting to surgery, but if surgery is necessary, we offer a comprehensive suite of orthopedic shoulder surgery services for our patients.

Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Repair

AC joint injuries tend to occur as a result of falls, auto accidents or other traumas that impact the joint between the acromion and the clavicle bones. The acromioclavicular ligament binds these two bones in your shoulder but can become torn and knocked out of place to varying degrees. Shoulder separation, as it is sometimes called, can take the form of Grade I through Grade III injuries, with Grade III being the most severe.

Thankfully, orthopedic surgeon Jonathan Fox, M.D. can perform AC joint repair arthroscopically, allowing patients to return home the same day and enjoy a faster recovery period. Surgery is often reserved for more severe grades of shoulder separation and should be prescribed in conjunction with physical therapy and other non-invasive treatment methods to strengthen the repaired shoulder.

Rotator Cuff Repair

A healthy and stable rotator cuff is essential for a full range of pain free shoulder movement. Despite its singular name, the rotator cuff is actually a collection of tendons and muscles that allow the shoulder to rotate without letting the ball of the humerus bone (the upper arm) pop out of the socket on the scapula. Rotator cuff injuries can compromise the joint’s integrity and significantly hamper strength and movement of the affected arm.

Rotator cuff repair surgery can also be performed arthroscopically. During the procedure, an orthopedic surgeon will reattach the torn tendons. Although the procedure is a reliable way to eliminate shoulder pain, a full and sometimes extensive course of physical therapy will be required to restore strength to the shoulder. Some patients are able to regain the majority of the lost strength in the arm, but it may not be possible for all patients.

As with other minimally invasive orthopedic shoulder surgeries, the arthroscopic version of the rotator cuff repair surgery is considered significantly safer than the traditional version. Although there are still risks for infection, stiffness, nerve damage and pain, they are generally thought to be significantly lower for arthroscopic procedures compared with the traditional large incision surgeries.

Patients who undergo arthroscopic AC joint repair or rotator cuff repair will experience far less scarring, less blood loss during the procedure and faster recovery due to the minimized damaged to the surrounding tissues.

Total Shoulder Replacement & Revision

Although significantly less frequent than knee or hip replacement surgeries, shoulder replacement surgeries are a good option for some patients with severe shoulder osteoarthritis or particularly severe shoulder injuries caused by trauma.

Cartilage in the shoulder, along with the synovial membrane, help lubricate the cartilage in the shoulder and allows for frictionless movement and a full range of shoulder joint motion. Patients with osteoarthritis of the shoulder suffer from significant cartilage loss, which causes grinding between the humerus head and the socket rather than smooth, lubricated movement. A total shoulder replacement involves replacing both the upper portion and head of the humerus as well as part of the scapula – specifically the socket, or glenoid.

Although rarer than knee and hip revision surgeries, shoulder revision surgeries are sometimes necessary, usually because the replaced components of the shoulder have become loosened, frequent dislocation are occurring, wear has resulted in less smooth function or an infection has set in around the replacement components.

If you do require a shoulder replacement revision, it’s important to work with an orthopedic surgeon who has extensive experience with shoulder revision surgeries and is knowledgeable about repairing the potential damage that has been caused by the faulty components. Dr. Fox would be happy to consult with you on your total shoulder replacement or shoulder replacement revision surgery so you understand all your options as well as the risks and benefits.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement and Revision

A reverse shoulder replacement creates a more stable, fixed-fulcrum joint by putting a ball where the glenoid would usually be on the scapula and a socket on the upper arm where the head of the humerous would normally be. This type of procedure is usually prescribed for patients who are suffering from severe rotator cuff tears or rotator cuff tear arthropathy, a relatively rare type of shoulder arthritis.

After a reverse shoulder replacement, the arm’s movement will rely on a different set of muscles, the deltoids, rather than the inoperable rotator cuff. Due to the procedure’s rarity, not ever orthopedic surgeon in the Phoenix or Scottsdale area performs reverse shoulder replacement or reverse shoulder replacement revision surgeries. Dr. Fox is highly experienced in the reverse shoulder replacement surgery and can consult on your surgical and non-surgical treatment options for rotator cuff tears and rotator cuff tear arthropathy.

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