Shoulder Reconstruction

Shoulder reconstruction is a surgery performed on patients suffering from joint dislocation or shoulder instability. The surgery is performed to restore the functionality of the shoulder joint and to prevent recurrent dislocation of the shoulder joint. A shoulder dislocation occurs when the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) is forced out of the shoulder socket or glenoid. It is of two types:

  • Partial : It occurs when the ball of the upper arm comes partially out of the socket. It is termed as subluxation.
  • Complete: It occurs when a complete dislocation or when the balls come all the way out of the socket.

Some of the common symptoms of shoulder dislocation or shoulder instability are swelling, intense pain and stiffness or inability to move the joint.

Shoulder instability is caused as a result of Bankart injury. It is a specific injury caused at labrum, a specific part of the shoulder. The labrum is a ring of fibrous cartilage which surrounds the glenoid and stabilizes the shoulder joint.Shoulder reconstruction surgery can be done in two ways. Arthroscopically, which involves the use of smaller incisions and small instruments to perform the surgery and surgery involving larger incision over the shoulder.

The surgery involves repair of the affected torn or stretched ligaments; the torn labrum is reattached to the shoulder socket with special anchors and the overstretched capsules and ligaments are tightened.

After the surgery is performed the arm is placed in a sling for 4-6 weeks, and the patient is advised not to do anykind of heavy weight lifting and driving for around 2 months.Like any other surgery, the shoulder reconstruction also has its own complications among which some common complications are Nerve and artery damage, pain and re-dislocation, blood clots, and Infections.
A shoulder reconstruction surgery is recommended if physical therapy, occupational therapy, and prescription medicines fails to relieve the shoulder instability.

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