Types of Surgery for Shoulder Dislocation

A shoulder dislocation occurs when the ball of the shoulder joint is pulled or knocked out of its socket.  In some instances, the shoulder can be eased back into place, but the trauma to the joint can cause instability, pain, and recurring dislocations.  In these cases, shoulder surgery is recommended to stabilize the area and minimize the risk of repeated dislocations in the future.

There are several different surgical options for shoulder dislocation repair, depending on the severity and location of the injury within the shoulder.

Bankart Repair Surgery

If the dislocated shoulder moved toward the front of the body, the ring of cartilage surrounding the socket may have been torn out of the socket.  Bankart repair surgery corrects this by repairing the tear in the cartilage and reattaching it to the socket.  Depending on the severity of the damage, Bankart repair surgery can be done arthroscopically or through an open procedure.

Capsular Shift Surgery

If the shoulder has been dislocated multiple times, the ligaments holding the shoulder in place become hyper-extended and lose their ability to hold the joint in place.  Capsular shift surgery tightens the ligaments so they can once again hold the shoulder firmly in place.

Latarjet Surgery with Bone Grafting

This shoulder dislocation surgery is indicated when the bone on the edge of the shoulder socket has been damaged.  Bone from the shoulder blade is used as a graft to attach the tendon to the front edge of the shoulder socket.  Alternatively, bone from a bone bank or the patient’s pelvis can be used to stabilize the shoulder.

Remplissage Surgery

If the ball of the shoulder, or humeral head, has been severely damaged due to repeated shoulder dislocations, Hill-Sachs lesions may develop.  Remplissage surgery resurfaces these damaged areas by smoothing them out or filling them in.  The ball is then re-attached to the rotator cuff.  In some situations, Latarjet and Remplissage surgery are done in tandem to address multiple issues with a dislocated shoulder.

Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Multiple shoulder dislocations or instability due to repeated rotator cuff tears can lead to the need for a complete shoulder replacement.  This procedure replaces both the ball and socket of the shoulder with artificial parts that are then attached to the humerus, or upper arm bone, with a stem.

Total joint replacement is the most extreme surgery for shoulder dislocation.  It is usually only performed after other therapies have failed to bring relief for severe shoulder pain or loss of movement.

Determining Which Shoulder Surgery is Right for You

Any dislocated shoulder is a medical emergency.  The resulting pain and trauma to the joint—as well as potential complications—need to be addressed by a medical expert familiar with the various treatment options available.

It is important to remember that any shoulder surgery requires recovery time and physical therapy to re-establish range of motion and build strength.  Your surgeon will discuss the post-surgical treatment you will need to get back to the full use of your shoulder.

If you have suffered more than one dislocated shoulder or have chronic shoulder pain due to trauma to the shoulder joint, the orthopedic surgeons at Arkansas Surgical Hospital can evaluate your injury and determine the best shoulder surgery option for you.  Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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