The Kennedy Center has gained a stellar reputation for hip and knee replacements, but in recent years, they’ve also become a premier center for shoulder repair and reconstruction.
As people age, their shoulders often begin to hurt, the rotator cuff may tear, arthritis can develop, and years of accumulated activity start to take their toll. We want to help. Contact us to learn more about our shoulder procedures.
If it hurts to lift your arms overhead, sleep on your shoulder, wash your hair or reach into your back pocket, then it might be time to see one of our outstanding surgeons at the Kennedy Shoulder Center.
Our talented doctors will listen to your concerns and then develop an appropriate treatment option specifically for you. We take pride in our progressive approach to shoulder pain, in our excellent surgical results and the continued faith and loyalty of our patients.
Your shoulder, like your hip, is a ball and socket joint. The ball of the joint is the top portion of your arm and the socket is part of the shoulder blade.
Throughout most people’s life, the ball and socket work beautifully together. But as we age, degenerative arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or a severe injury can seriously cause loss of the cartilage of the shoulder joint causing pain and limited function.
If you experience continual pain that no longer responds to conventional treatment like physical therapy or cortisone shots, then it might be time to contact the shoulder specialists at the Kennedy Center.
During total shoulder replacement surgery, the humeral ball is replaced with a metal ball that has similar contours to your own natural one. The socket will be cleaned of all arthritis and a plastic liner will be inserted. These implants are sized to your own joint and will mimic the natural motion of your shoulder for years to come.
Having a total shoulder replacement is a serious decision, one that must be made in thorough consultation with your orthopedic surgeon.
Patients who choose a surgeon with a specialty in shoulder repair report that, after rehabilitation, their pain level is significantly reduced and experience enhanced arm function.
Shoulder resurfacing is a revolutionary surgery done on people with arthritic shoulders who, in the past, were only candidates for a total shoulder replacement. It is an appropriate option when patients are in the early stages of arthritis.
Shoulder resurfacing preserves the bone in the shoulder and provides a secure fit for the new bone to grow into the implant. Patients can still have a total shoulder replacement later in life. Patients with a resurfaced shoulder can live a more normal, less restricted lifestyle than if they were to have a total shoulder replacement.
The shoulder joint is an extremely complex mechanism. We encourage you to talk to one of our surgeons about what procedure is most appropriate for you.
The reverse total shoulder replacement system was developed in Europe in the 1980’s and approved by the US FDA in 2004. This innovative technique was designed for people who previously had no other good surgical options. Appropriate patients include those with:
Normally, the rotator cuff and deltoid muscle work together helping a patient raise their arm overhead. When the rotator cuff is severely damaged, it loses function and it often becomes too painful to lift the arm away from the body or overhead.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), “In reverse shoulder replacement, the socket and metal ball are switched. That means a metal ball is attached to the shoulder bone and a plastic socket is attached to the upper arm bone. This allows the patient to use the deltoid muscle instead of the torn rotator cuff to lift the arm.”
The major benefits of a reverse total shoulder replacement are the patient’s ability to lift their arm overhead without pain, which in turn means a better quality of life. Patients normally have less pain and more strength in the shoulder, leading to improved function.
This surgery does not allow patients to return to heavy work or athletics.
Although shoulder replacement surgery isn’t as common as hip or knee replacement, it can be an excellent solution for people with severe shoulder pain. Partial shoulder replacement surgery was developed for people with degenerative shoulder arthritis or a shoulder injury.
There are three types of shoulder replacement surgery:
When your shoulder socket is intact with good cartilage and doesn’t need replacing, your surgeon may recommend a Copeland shoulder replacement or a Hemi shoulder replacement. During this surgery, the affected joint of the humeral head of the shoulder is resurfaced by replacing it with a similarly shaped metal implant.
The primary benefits of a partial shoulder replacement are pain relief and a return to more normal activity. Because the surgery retains functional bone, a successful total shoulder procedure can still be done in the future if the socket wears out.
The shoulder is a remarkably complex and efficient human mechanism. The shoulder joint is comprised mainly of muscles, tendons and bones, all working smoothly together to give this joint effortless motion throughout life.
The rotator cuff refers to the group of muscles and tendons from the shoulder blade that connects to the ball of the shoulder joint and adds stability to it. Together they form a “cuff” around the humeral head or ball that allows your arm to lift overhead and rotate. It functions beautifully year after year, but can tear with or without an injury.
Most rotator cuff injuries can be treated non-surgically with rest, ice, heat, low-resistance exercise and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
The surgeons at the Kennedy Center lead the way in using arthroscopic surgery for rotator cuff tears. We use the latest arthroscopic techniques to limit muscle injury and post-operative pain.
Today, many surgeons outside the Kennedy Center still perform “open” surgery on rotator cuffs. Surgeons make a fairly large incision on the outside of the shoulder and cut through the muscle to expose the rotator cuff.
The benefits of arthroscopic surgery include less post-operative pain and use of narcotic drugs, and an earlier return to normal activities like driving and working.
The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in your body, allowing it to move in many different directions. It helps you lift and rotate your arm, as well as reach overhead. Unfortunately, this greater range of motion can allow the shoulder to be less stable.
“Dr. Tsai took the time to explain everything involved with my surgery and what I could expect after the surgery. I’d recommend him to anyone. He’s not only an excellent surgeon, but a really great guy.” Read more about Andy’s arthroscopic surgery.
The goal of our physicians is to make the shoulder more stable without losing function whether the approach is surgical or non-surgical.
Research shows that the younger and more active the person is when they first have a dislocation or subluxation, the more likely it will be that recurrent instability will develop.
The board certified surgeons at the Kennedy Center will evaluate each case individually. Often physical therapy combined with sports-specific rehabilitation can strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint and make it more stable.
For patients who don’t respond to conservative therapy and treatment, arthroscopic shoulder stabilization may be recommended. This is an outpatient procedure that involves making small incisions in the shoulder to repair capsule that was torn away from the socket or tighten a capsule that is too loose in the shoulder joint.
Shoulder impingement or decompression surgery is an arthroscopic procedure to widen the space between the rotator cuff attached to the ball of the shoulder socket and the part of your shoulder blade known as the acromion.
Impingement surgery can be performed to relieve chronic or severe tendonitis that hasn’t responded to conservative, non-surgical techniques including therapy.
Shoulder impingement syndrome occurs fairly commonly in athletes who participate in sports requiring repeated use of their arms overhead. These can include tennis players, baseball players, gymnasts and volleyball players. It also is fairly common in people whose work involves overhead activities like carpenters, masons and painters.
This syndrome typically produces mild to severe pain in the shoulder or upper arm and limits a patient’s range of arm motion. People often have trouble lifting their arms overhead or away from their body and have general weakness in the arm. The syndrome can be characterized as bursitis, inflammation or a bone spur formation. This can progress into a tear in the rotator cuff.