Shoulder Surgery FAQ

  1. How are rotator cuff tears treated?
  2. When is reverse shoulder replacement recommended?
  3. What are common causes of labral tears?
  4. What is frozen shoulder, and how is it treated?
  5. How is arthritis of the shoulder treated?

1. How are rotator cuff tears treated?

Rotator cuff tears are one of the most common sports related shoulder injuries. Damage to the rotator cuff is most often due to overuse and muscle strain. During the early stages of shoulder pain due to rotator cuff tearing, Dr. Haar will often recommend a conservative treatment routine including rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy.

For patients suffering from severe tears, arthroscopic surgery is often required to return shoulder strength. During arthroscopic shoulder surgery, Dr. Haar will use minimally invasive techniques to either repair or reattach the torn tendons.

Learn more about shoulder arthroscopy »

2. When is reverse total shoulder replacement recommended?

Reverse total shoulder replacement surgery is often recommended for patients suffering from severe arthritis of the shoulder, in addition to full rotator cuff tears. Differing from traditional total shoulder replacement surgery, reverse total shoulder replacement involves attaching a metal ball shaped prosthesis to the socket and a plastic cup shaped prosthesis to the upper end of the arm bone. The surrounding healthy muscles and tendons take the place of the damaged rotator cuff to support and strengthen the shoulder joint.

3. What are common causes of labral tears?

Labral tearing is often the result of trauma, dislocation, structural abnormalities, or constant repetitive motion. While trauma and dislocation of the shoulder joint can cause immediate tearing of the labrum, structural abnormalities and increased repetitive motion can gradually intensify friction during movement. Overuse of the shoulder joint can cause the soft cartilage to wear away, often leading to tearing.

Patients suffering from labrum tearing or inflammation, tycpially experience significant pain and immobility. Dr. Haar will often recommend arthroscopic surgery to relieve pain symptoms and restore joint function.

Learn more about shoulder pain and treatment options »

4. What is frozen shoulder, and how is it treated?

Frozen shoulder is the immobility of the shoulder joint due to the thickening and tightening of the ligaments and tendons surrounding the joint. Symptoms of frozen shoulder include stiffness and pain, and typically develop gradually. This condition often develops in conjunction with a patient's recovering from a previous medical condition or procedure.

Physical therapy, at-home stretching exercises, and anti-inflammatory medications are often recommended to relieve pain symptoms and increase joint mobility. For patients unable to restore joint function, arthroscopic surgery may be recommended to loosen the tight tendons and increase range of motion.

Learn more about ligament injuries »

5. How is arthritis of the shoulder treated?

The most common form of arthritis of the shoulder is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis, also known as wear and tear arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease that destroys the protective cartilage surrounding the bones of the joint. Patients suffering from arthritis of the shoulder usually experience increasing pain symptoms and limited mobility.

During the early stages of arthritis, Dr. Haar will typically recommend rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications. If symptoms persist, total shoulder replacement surgery may be required to relieve pain and restore joint mobility.

Learn more about arthritis and treatment options »