Your shoulders include some of the most frequently used joints in your body, so when there is an injury or damage to this area, the problem can be debilitating. Sometimes physical therapy and medication are all it takes to return your shoulder joints back to their normal function. However, for situations where these conservative treatments have not produced results and you are experiencing significant immobility or pain, surgery is often necessary.
Typical Shoulder Injuries
At the Okanagan Health Surgical Centre, we are able to repair serious damage to the shoulder joints and surrounding tissues caused. Shoulder injuries of this nature include:
- An injury to the rotator cuff
- Bursitis, or inflammation, in the shoulder
- Adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder
- Tendinitis, or inflammation in the shoulder tendons
What are the typical procedures for shoulder surgery?
There are two main types of shoulder surgery:
- Shoulder Arthroscopic Surgery - in this procedure the surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a tiny camera called an arthroscope to examine and repair the damaged shoulder tissues. The procedure is quick and requires minimal downtime.
- Open Shoulder Surgery - this procedure is often the recommended for situations involving extensive shoulder damage. During this procedure, the surgeon makes a larger incision and carefully removes all damaged tissues to allow the shoulder joint to move normally again.
How should you prepare before surgery?
Before your surgery, your surgery clinic will go through a comprehensive list of instructions to make sure that you are informed and prepared. Your surgeon will advise you to:
- Plan time off from work and any other obligations
- Confirm you have a trusted caregiver to transport you to the clinic and take care of you at home following your procedure
- Abstain from alcohol, smoking, and any medications or supplements that can impede blood clotting, such as aspirin
- Fast at the designated time before your scheduled surgery
How long does it take to recover after shoulder surgery?
For the minimally-invasive Shoulder Arthroscopic Surgery, most patients can begin active movement of the shoulder after 4 to 6 weeks, with a full recovery within 3 to 4 months.
Open Shoulder Surgery is a more complex procedure with a larger incision, so the recovery time may take longer. In most cases, patients make a full recovery in 6 months following the procedure.
Recovery times and recommended activities will vary for different patients, so it is important to follow your surgeon’s specific instructions following your particular procedure.
If you’re dealing with shoulder pain and therapeutic treatments haven’t helped, shoulder surgery could be a solution for you.
To find out whether you’re a good candidate for this procedure, contact the Okanagan Surgical Health Centre today at: 250-868-9799.