5 Shoulder Conditions that Benefit from Surgery

Apr 01, 2023

Eating, driving, working — it’s hard to overstate how much you rely on your shoulders throughout the day. So, when something goes wrong, you want to do what you can to restore function, which might involve surgery.

From the moment you get out of bed (not to mention, the act of getting out of bed), your shoulders are working hard, giving your arms and hands the ability to function. It’s usually not until you experience pain or weakness in your shoulder that you truly understand just how much you rely on these important joints.

When you’re experiencing problems in your shoulder, you want to do everything you can to wave goodbye to the limitation and discomfort, and this might include surgery. 

At Los Angeles Orthopedic Surgery Specialists, we have a team of orthopedic surgeons that excels in helping patients to regain pain-free function. While we understand that surgery may not be a solution you’re thrilled about, it’s often the fastest and most effective road to better musculoskeletal health.

Here, we explore five shoulder conditions that can often benefit from surgery.

1. Rotator cuff repair

One of the most common shoulder surgeries orthopedic specialists perform is rotator cuff repair — experts predict about 570,000 of these procedures will be performed in the United States in 2023.

Your rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that holds your upper arm bone firmly in the shoulder socket and allows you to lift and rotate your arm.

If you tear this important connective tissue, healing can come slowly, especially if the tear is large or complete. If we try conservative methods, such as rest and physical therapy, and the results just aren’t there, we can repair and reattach this important tissue surgically.

2. Frozen shoulder

Also called adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is a gradual and painful condition that slowly robs you of your ability to use your joint. The frontline treatment is physical therapy to break apart the scar tissue in your shoulder capsule that’s limiting movement. If this tissue doesn’t give way through stretches and exercise, we may recommend surgery to free up your shoulder.

3. Shoulder impingement

Shoulder impingement is a frustrating condition in which your rotator cuff catches on the outer edge of your shoulder blade. When this happens, it can lead to inflammation, which creates a vicious circle in which your inflamed soft tissues continue to rub against the bone, leading to chronic pain.

If conservative efforts don’t work to relieve your discomfort, a surgery in which we remove a piece of bone to create more room for your rotator cuff may be beneficial.

4. Shoulder labrum tear

The shallow socket portion of your shoulder joint features a piece of cartilage around the outer edge that forms a seal for the ball on your upper arm bone — the labrum. If you damage this tough tissue, usually due to an acute dislocation, surgery may be the best option for restoring stability to your shoulder.

5. Chronic shoulder instability

If your shoulder has ongoing issues with stability and dislocates easily, we may recommend surgery to tighten the ligaments.

A word about surgery

We want to assure you that we use only the most advanced surgical techniques available, including arthroscopy, to repair or reconstruct major joints like your shoulder.

These minimally invasive techniques are designed to reduce your risks and to speed up healing so that you can get back to using your shoulder more quickly.

If you suspect that you might benefit from shoulder surgery, your first step is to sit down with one of our specialists for a complete evaluation. To get started, call one of our offices in the greater Los Angeles, California, area. We have locations in Glendale, Wilshire, East LA, Santa Fe Springs, Pico Rivera, Encino, Newhall, Montebello, and Tarzana. You can also schedule an appointment for a consultation online.

Los Angeles Orthopedic Surgery Specialists