Patient Books

Shoulder Arthroscopy Patient Guide


Shoulder arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that involves inspecting the shoulder joint and the space around the rotator cuff with a small camera, or arthroscope. The camera and any instruments your surgeon uses to work on your shoulder will be placed through small metal and plastic tubes called cannulas. The cannulas are placed into the shoulder joint through small skin incisions called portals. These incisions are usually about the size of buttonholes, one-quarter to one-half inch in length. Many operations that used to require large incisions can now be done through these small skin incisions. As arthroscopic techniques and instrumentation continue to evolve, many surgeries that used to require longer incisions (“open” surgery) can now be done arthroscopically.

Total Shoulder Replacement Patient Guide

Total shoulder replacement (also known as total shoulder arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure that involves “replacing” the arthritic or “worn out” shoulder joint. The main reason to have a shoulder replacement is to relieve pain. A total shoulder replacement is done on patients who have shoulder arthritis with an intact rotator cuff. Arthritis is damage to the shiny white articular cartilage (joint) surfaces of the bone. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons/muscles that help lift the arm over the head. The rotator cuff also helps hold the ball (humeral head) in the socket (glenoid) of the shoulder.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement Patient Guide

Reverse shoulder replacement (also known as reverse shoulder arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure designed for patients who have non-repairable damage to their rotator cuff in conjunction with arthritis. This condition is commonly termed “cuff tear arthropathy.” Reverse shoulder replacement can also be used to treat shoulder fractures in older patients. Reverse shoulder replacement still replaces the ball and socket of the shoulder joint with new metal and plastic parts. A reverse is similar to a traditional or primary shoulder replacement because both involve “replacing” the arthritic or “worn out” shoulder joint. However, a reverse places the rounded “ball” part on the socket and the hollowed out socket on the arm bone, or humerus.