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Surgical Options

Shoulder

Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Shoulder replacement surgery creates new joint surfaces by replacing the ends of bones in a damaged joint. Shoulder replacement surgery involves the highly trained surgeon replacing the ends of the damaged upper arm bone (humerus) and usually the shoulder bone (scapula) by capping them with artificial surfaces lined with plastic or metal and plastic.

 

Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery

In reverse shoulder replacement surgery, the position of the ball and socket are “reversed” where the ball is applied to the shoulder and the plastic socket is attached to the upper arm. The damaged bone is removed and a rounded joint piece is attached to the shoulder bone. A cup-shaped piece replaces the top of the upper arm bone. This enables the person to lift the arm using a different muscle than the rotator cuff.

 

Rotator Cuff Arthroscopy

Minimally invasive techniques (also known as arthroscopy) and improved tools allow orthopedic surgeons to fix rotator cuff tears usually through 3-4 small incisions, less than ½ inch. The rotator cuff tear is repaired by suturing the torn tendon back to the humerus.

Knee Surgery Options

Sometimes, if nonsurgical treatment, rehabilitation and therapy is unsuccessful, the only way to heal a knee problem may be through surgery. If the knee is irreparably damaged or has eroded away because of arthritis, then knee surgery may be the next logical step. Statistically, 20% of knee patients will require surgery.

Remember that although surgery may be a 'scary' word, today more than ever, people are recovering from surgery and regaining peak performance.

Take, for instance, tennis player Seffi Graf who won both the French Open and Wimbledon following knee surgery. Even more astonishingly, pro tennis player Richard Krajicek recovered from knee surgery after only three months and went on to beat world champion Pete Sampras in straight sets in 1998.

Depending on what part of the knee is actually damaged, surgery can in some cases be delayed. To highlight an extreme example, in the 1999 Stanley Cup Championships, Dallas Star hockey player Brett Hull played three periods during the final game and then played three more periods of overtime all with a grade three torn meniscus — the most severe level of an MCL tear. Although probably not the most healthy decision for his knee, playing on a torn MCL is a sacrifice he was more than willing to make at the highlight of his career as the Stars brought home the Stanley Cup that year — and, of course, he subsequently had surgery to repair his MCL. While most of us have no reason to push ourselves to this sort of an extreme, this illustrates, that surgery for even the most severe injuries can be postponed in some cases.

Essentially, when surgery is done well and the recovery period is carefully and thoroughly completed, return to athletic activity is more than likely not a problem.

Hip

Hip Replacement Surgery

Over time, the impact of joint disease, arthritis, or excessive body weight can erode the hip joint.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, each year in the United States, about 193,000 hip replacements are performed. With the aging of the baby boom generation, that number is expected to grow as this large segment of the population moves into their 50s and 60s. It is estimated that more than 500,000 knee and hip replacements will be done each year by 2040. Also, the joint implant technology involved is improving, enabling the artificial joint to last longer.

The surgery itself, lasting between two to three hours, is performed on those who experience the chronic and debilitating effects of hip disease. An incision is made in the beauty of the patient. The surgeon then removes the diseased bone and cartilage and fits the prosthesis into the joint. The prosthesis is inserted and the incision is sutured.

Hip Arthroscopy

Many times hip arthroscopy can repair the hip joint without the need for — or at least delaying — total hip replacement surgery. Hip arthroscopy requires advanced training and is often limited to major cities. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), advances in hip arthroscopy and improved outcomes may double the number of hip arthrocopies done annually.

According to the AAOS, hip arthroscopy, is not only less invasive than a traditional large incision surgery, but also permits more detailed visualization of the hip structures by virtue of the cannula and camera capabilities within the new instrumentation.


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