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Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

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Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that provides a precise and effective means of diagnosing and treating various shoulder joint conditions. Dr. Jonathan Gelber performs arthroscopic shoulder surgery for conditions like rotator cuff tears and shoulder instability as a last resort if all other non-surgical options fail to yield lasting results.

What Is Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery?

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive approach to diagnosing and treating shoulder joint problems. It involves making small incisions through which a tiny camera and specialized instruments are inserted. This allows Dr. Gelber to view the inside of the shoulder joint in real-time, making precise repairs to damaged tissues, removing loose fragments, and addressing conditions like rotator cuff tears, labral tears, and impingement. This approach results in shorter recovery times and less postoperative pain than traditional open surgeries.

Conditions That May Necessitate Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery:

  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Labral tears
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)
  • Recurrent shoulder dislocations
  • Biceps tendonitis
  • Bone spurs (osteophytes)
  • Inflamed synovium (synovitis)
  • Arthritis of the shoulder joint
  • Other conditions affecting the shoulders

Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Is a Last Resort

Dr. Gelber approaches arthroscopic shoulder surgery as a last resort. He reserves this option for cases where conservative treatments prove ineffective or in extremely severe cases. Dr. Gelber prioritizes non-surgical approaches, including regenerative medicine like PRP and stem cell injections, viscosupplementation, cortisone injections, and integrative medicine. These procedures stimulate natural tissue regeneration from within, reduce inflammation, and address the root causes of shoulder pain, helping you reclaim optimal mobility without surgery. However, if all non-surgical options fail, arthroscopic shoulder surgery is considered.

Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Is Only Considered If:

  • Conservative treatments have failed to provide lasting relief
  • You experience persistent and debilitating shoulder pain
  • Diagnostic tests, such as MRI or X-rays, confirm the need for surgical intervention
  • There is significant damage to the rotator cuff, labrum, or other shoulder joint surfaces
  • Your overall health and medical history permit arthroscopic surgery

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

Rotator cuff repair is designed to mend damaged or torn tendons within the rotator cuff, a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. Dr. Gelber uses minimally invasive techniques to insert a camera-equipped scope and specialized instruments through small incisions. This allows for precise visualization, following which Dr. Gelber repairs the damaged tissues and removes the impinging structures of the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff repair aims to restore shoulder function and alleviate pain for improved mobility.

Signs Indicating You
May Need a Rotator Cuff Repair:

  • Persistent shoulder pain
  • Weakness in the shoulder
  • Limited range of motion, particularly overhead movements
  • Audible cracking or popping sensations in the shoulder
  • Difficulty lifting or carrying objects
  • Pain or weakness while reaching behind your back
  • Pain that doesn’t improve with rest or non-surgical treatments
  • Instability or a sensation that your shoulder might dislocate

Arthroscopic Surgery for Shoulder Instability

Arthroscopic surgery for shoulder instability is a minimally invasive procedure that addresses conditions where the shoulder joint frequently dislocates. Dr. Gelber makes small incisions and uses specialized instruments and a camera-equipped scope to access and repair damaged or stretched ligaments, labrum, or other structures that contribute to instability. This approach ensures precise correction while minimizing tissue disruption, leading to quicker recovery and reduced postoperative discomfort compared to open surgery. It also restores shoulder stability and prevents recurrent dislocations.

Signs Indicating You May Need Treatment for Shoulder Instability:

  • Recurrent episodes of shoulder dislocation or subluxation
  • Persistent shoulder pain or discomfort after dislocations
  • Feeling that your shoulder is loose or unstable
  • Difficulty in performing daily activities due to shoulder instability
  • A history of traumatic shoulder injuries
  • Ineffectiveness of conservative treatments, such as physical therapy
  • Evidence of structural damage on diagnostic imaging, such as MRI or X-rays

The Minimally Invasive Alternative to Open Surgery

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional open surgery for addressing shoulder joint problems. It involves making small incisions through which an arthroscope and specialized instruments are inserted. Unlike open surgery, which requires larger incisions and tissue disruption, arthroscopy minimizes trauma to surrounding structures. This results in reduced postoperative pain, shorter recovery, and a lower risk of complications. Dr. Gelber only offers arthroscopic surgical techniques.

Benefits of Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery:

  • Smaller incisions and reduced tissue damage
  • Minimized postoperative pain and discomfort
  • Faster recovery and shorter hospital stays
  • Lower risk of infection and complications
  • Enhanced visualization of the surgical site
  • Improved cosmetic outcomes with smaller scars
  • Reduced blood loss during the procedure
  • Possibility of outpatient or same-day surgery
  • Quicker return to daily activities and sports
  • Better preservation of healthy surrounding tissues
Man working out at the gym after PRP Injections in Burbank.

The Recovery Process
After Arthroscopic Surgery

Following arthroscopic shoulder surgery, you may experience pain and swelling, which can be managed with prescribed medications. You will have to undergo physical therapy to restore shoulder strength and mobility.

Please follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding exercise, lifting restrictions, and rehabilitation to ensure optimal healing. Full recovery typically takes several weeks to months, but with proper care, you can soon reclaim optimal mobility.

Woman running up steps after resolving an ALC tear in Burbank.

Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Aftercare Guidelines:

  • Follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions
  • Manage pain with prescribed medications
  • Use ice packs to reduce swelling
  • Keep the surgical site clean and dry
  • Gradually start physical therapy as advised
  • Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities
  • Wear a sling or brace as recommended
  • Attend follow-up appointments as scheduled
  • Communicate any unusual symptoms or concerns with your surgeon
  • Return to normal activities gradually and don’t push yourself

Consult Dr. Gelber Today

Dr. Jonathan Gelber, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon with fellowship training in sports medicine, offers his expertise to patients seeking specialized orthopedic care. As a lifelong athlete himself, Dr. Gelber understands the challenges associated with shoulder joint problems. He is committed to helping you reclaim optimal mobility using the least invasive methods possible — he only recommends surgery as a last resort. Consult Dr. Gelber to address the root cause of your shoulder joint conditions and lead a pain-free life.

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