Also called shoulder repair, shoulder surgery treats a shoulder joint that has been damaged by aging, disease, overuse or injury. Common shoulder surgeries at Dignity Health include joint replacement, rotator cuff repair and arthroscopy. After shoulder surgery, you will be able to move and use your shoulder without pain.
Why Shoulder Surgery is Performed
Shoulder surgery at Dignity Health may be an option if other treatments like physical therapy and medications haven’t worked for you. Your doctor may recommend shoulder surgery to treat the following orthopedic conditions in the Bay Area:
- Cartilage tears or injuries
- Frozen shoulder
- Repeated shoulder dislocations
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Shoulder separation
What You Should Expect
Shoulder surgery can be performed as a traditional open, mini-open (a combination of open and minimally invasive techniques), or minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure. Mini-open and arthroscopic approaches usually result in smaller incisions, less pain and a shorter recovery period. Depending on the type of surgery you elect to receive, you may go home the same day or have to spend a few nights in the hospital.
Dignity Health’s doctors may recommend that you wear a sling to keep your shoulder stable while it is healing. Some people only need it for a short period of time, while others will wear a sling for many weeks.
You will also likely need a physical therapy routine as part of your recovery. This rehabilitation is vital to prevent joint stiffness and regain joint function. Full recovery can range from a few weeks to several months.
Adjusting to Life After Shoulder Surgery
After shoulder surgery, most people are able to regain their active lifestyle. You should do so with caution, however, as surgery won’t prevent future shoulder problems and injuries. You can protect your shoulder by:
- Carrying heavy objects close to your body
- Practicing good posture
- Strengthening your shoulder muscles with recommended exercises
- Using proper body mechanics when lifting heavy objects
Ask your doctor about returning to contact sports or other activities that could stress your shoulder. For care you can trust for shoulder injuries before and after shoulder surgery, visit Dignity Health. To take full advantage of our services, Find a Doctor near you.
Dignity Health provides reliable shoulder surgeries for patients with shoulder pain in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Redwood City.