Shoulder Arthroscopy | Naples, South Florida
The shoulder joint, also known as the glenohumeral joint, is made up of the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone). Tissues and tendon attach to the joint that help stabilize and support the shoulder. The rotator cuff, a set of four muscles attaching to the scapula, gives the shoulder its extensive range of motion. The labrum, which sits within the shoulder socket, helps stabilize the joint and allows the humeral head to sit within the socket more securely.
If the components in the shoulder are damaged or inflamed, significant pain and dysfunction can occur. While conservative treatment methods are always preferred, surgery is often the best solution to alleviate pain and restore joint function. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery, a minimally invasive approach to treatment, is often the solution recommended by the orthopaedic doctor. Shoulder arthroscopy provides numerous potential benefits beyond traditional open joint surgery, allowing the patient to return to previous levels of activity safely and quickly.
The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint, with the head of the humerus resting inside a shallow socket known as the glenoid. This shallow socket is made deeper and more stable by a piece of soft, fibrous tissue known as the labrum. The labrum surrounds the glenoid and deepens the socket, allowing the humeral head to fit more adequately inside the joint.
The labrum can become injured in a number of ways, including repetitive motions, falls, and traumatic blows to the shoulder. Patients with labral tears can include athletes playing competitive sports, as well as older patients who lose balance and fall onto an outstretched arm. When the labrum becomes torn or inflamed, significant pain and immobility can occur. Other symptoms of labral injury include "popping" or grinding sounds when rotating the shoulder, loss of strength, and occasional night pains in the joint. To treat labral tears, surgery is often recommended; in these cases, arthroscopy is the best course of action, as it provides numerous minimally invasive benefits.
Rotator Cuff Repair
The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that power the shoulder, and help the shoulder lift the arm up and away from the body. The rotator cuff attaches to a part of the scapula known as the acromion, and slides back and forth underneath it as the shoulder extends and articulates the arm. In part because of the rotator cuff, the shoulder has a wider range of motion than most joints in the body.
The rotator cuff is frequently strained or torn through repetitive athletic activity, such as pitching in baseball or serving in tennis. Injuries can also affect older, less active patients through falls or workrelated injuries. In cases where the rotator cuff is torn and must be repaired to alleviate pain and restore shoulder function, shoulder arthroscopy is the preferred surgical method of treatment.
Shoulder Arthroscopy: The Procedure
During an arthroscopic shoulder procedure, the surgeon will insert a camera, known as an arthroscope, which sends real-time images to a computer monitor. The arthroscope provides a view of the joint from within, and facilitates precise and accurate surgical maneuvers. The arthroscope is diminutive in size, and allows the surgeon to have a heightened level of visibility without making a large incision into the joint.
Potential Benefits of Shoulder Arthroscopy
This minimally invasive surgical approach typically allows patients to recover more quickly when compared to open joint procedures, and also minimizes scarring in the area. Less blood loss during the procedure reduces post-operative pain, allowing the patient to return to previous levels of activity safely, comfortably, and more quickly than ever.
Minimally Invasive Treatment in Naples
Board-certified orthopaedic surgeon Dr. H. Kurtis Biggs has completed an orthopaedic surgery residency and a Fellowship in Joint Replacement at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic. As the founder and lead surgeon of the Joint Replacement Institute in Naples, Dr. Biggs brings experience to South Florida through the thousands of joint replacements he has performed.