Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Replacement
Shoulder Replacement in Burnsville, Minneapolis
Chronic pain in the shoulder joint can have a drastic effect on everyday life. Commonplace activities such as picking up a baby, gardening, or carrying groceries can easily turn into impossible tasks when the shoulder joint has been compromised. Veteran orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Hartman has developed a reputation as one of the most trusted orthopedic surgeons in the Burnsville, Minneapolis area, and specializes in a number of orthopedic procedures including total shoulder replacement.
Dr. Hartman utilizes the latest minimally invasive techniques, such as arthroscopy, as well as other innovative procedures to treat a variety of shoulder ailments. Rotator cuff injuries are among the most common ailments affecting the shoulder joint, affecting patients of all ages and activity levels. You don’t have to be a pro-athlete to injure your shoulder or tear your rotator cuff, but the persistent pain can sideline you all the same.
Early diagnosis is always best. Learn the basics of rotator cuff tears and shoulder replacement surgery to ensure you recognize the issue before it becomes a problem.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
The shoulder joint is made up of a complex interaction of muscle, bone, tendon, and ligament. In order to provide a full range of motion, a group of muscles and tendons form the rotator cuff, stabilizing the joint and covering the top of the humerus, or upper arm bone. Injuries and tears to the rotator cuff affect all major movements of the arm, as the shoulder plays an integral part in mobility.
The rotator cuff can develop a tear during a single trauma, such as a shoulder dislocation or a fracture of the arm bones. Most tears, however, come as the result of years of wear and tear. Once the rotator cuff is torn, the patient can experience a loss of muscle mass around the shoulder along with weakness, pain and a cracking sensation when lifting and rotating the arm. Symptoms such as weakness and a sharp pain in the affected arm can occur if the tear accompanies an injury, while persistent pain and discomfort radiating down the side of the arm can occur in cases of wear and tear.
Rotator Cuff Surgery
Rotator cuff injuries can often be treated with a variety of nonsurgical options unless the tear is immediate and accompanied by sharp pain requiring immediate attention. Nonsurgical options include resting the affected arm and limiting overhead activities, using a sling to limit everyday use, strengthening exercises, the use of anti-inflammatory medications and steroids, and ongoing physical therapy.
If nonsurgical options fail, the type of surgery, level of invasiveness and length of recovery time all vary depending on the location and size of the tear.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery
While rotator cuff tears often occur as the result of a traumatic injury or years of wear and tear, arthritis can cause stiffening in the shoulder that can lead to the replacement of the entire shoulder joint.
More than 23,000 people undergo total shoulder replacement surgery each year according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Advancements in technique and procedure have led to a much better prognosis for patients today than decades ago.
During shoulder replacement surgery, a prosthetic device that replicates the full range of motion offered by a healthy shoulder joint replaces the damaged original shoulder joint. After surgery, many patients are able to return to a full range of motion after undergoing a physical therapy regime.