If you suffer from a shoulder injury, your top priority is eliminating the pain so you can resume using your arm with comfort and strength. At MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, our orthopaedic shoulder specialists dedicate themselves entirely to that priority and deliver a continuum of care from initial evaluation through post-operative care.
We offer a wide range of treatments and surgical procedures, including minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques. Arthroscopic procedures use a tiny camera to find and treat conditions and is used in the treatment of cuff repair and shoulder instability. Our orthopaedic specialists also do traditional open surgery procedures when necessary.
Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair
A variety of conditions and injuries can damage the rotator cuff, cause pain, and make it difficult for you to move your arm. When non-surgical treatment does not improve your symptoms, surgery can help.
Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is a minimally invasive technique, which uses an arthroscope, or thin, flexible tube equipped with a small camera. Your surgeon inserts the arthroscope through a small incision in your shoulder. The camera magnifies your injury onto a screen and allows your surgeon to visualize the damage in detail. The surgeon can then repair your tissue and restore the torn cuff to its correct position at the top of your arm bone very precisely without affecting any surrounding tissue.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Arthritis can make it difficult and painful to perform even the simplest daily tasks. If nonsurgical treatment options are not improving your condition, you may be a good candidate for total shoulder replacement. Total shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces your arthritic shoulder joint with artificial parts—specifically, a metal ball and plastic socket. The procedure is very effective at relieving pain and improving function.
Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement
Often, you can experience shoulder arthritis along with damage to the rotator cuff, which is the group of muscles that hold your shoulder in place and allow you to move your arm in different directions. If you suffer from both conditions at the same time, a total shoulder replacement procedure may not provide sufficient relief.
Another alternative is reverse total shoulder replacement. In this open surgery, an orthopaedic surgeon replaces worn away cartilage and changes the position of the ball and socket joint so you can use a different set of healthy muscles to move your arm instead of your damaged rotator cuff muscles.
Preventing Shoulder Injuries
Before hitting the greens, tennis court, or swimming pools, consider these tips to help prevent shoulder injuries:
- Practice proper technique. Learn and practice the proper techniques for sports that are hard on the shoulders. For example, swimmers can help save their shoulders by placing their fingers or pinkies in the water first, not their thumbs, during the freestyle stroke.
- Ease into exercise. Warm up with light activity such as jogging in place or jumping rope for several minutes. Then stretch your shoulders and the other muscles you'll be using. Try this shoulder stretch: Lace your fingers together, and then push your arms over your head with your palms facing up. Hold 15 seconds. Repeat five to 10 times. Be certain to also stretch after you've finished exercising.
- Strengthen the shoulder area. Building the muscles in your wrists, arms, neck, and back helps protect your shoulders.
- When the muscles surrounding the shoulder are strong, there's less stress on the shoulder itself. Strengthening the shoulder muscles themselves also helps prevent injuries. To build your shoulder muscles, grasp an unopened soup can in each hand. Point your thumbs to the ground and keep your elbows straight. Raise your arms to waist level and slowly lower them, as if you were flapping your arms. Repeat five to 15 times. Do two or three sets.
Most importantly: Do not ignore symptoms or play through a shoulder injury. Doing so can aggravate the condition and cause more problems. See a doctor if symptoms persist or if your pain is severe.