How Does Rotator Cuff Surgery Work?

Your rotator cuff is a collection of four muscles that work in tandem to provide your shoulder its full range of motion. When one or more of these muscles suffers an injury, it can destabilize the entire system, leading to further injury – and, eventually, pain and restricted motion.

Rotator cuff surgery is designed to repair these muscles by resolving any torn connections between muscle and bone:

For a full rotator cuff tear, surgery is likely the only option to return your shoulder to normal function. An orthopedic surgeon will essentially re-attach your rotator cuff to the bone (humeral head) using an arthroscopic procedure that places three small holes in your arm.

This procedure has been around for quite some time, and offers a strong prognosis for full recovery provided that the patient has enough time to rest and heal. Physical therapy is paramount when it comes to rehabilitation from rotator cuff surgery, a process which can take several months. The good news is that many patients and athletes return to an active lifestyle once recovery is complete.

My San Diego shoulder surgery team offers the industry standard in diagnosis, planning, execution and aftercare of shoulder injuries. To learn more, please contact us here for an appointment.

Why Shoulder Pain Persists

Shoulder pain is caused by instability or impingement in the muscles and tendons of the shoulder, a system that is uniquely prone to injury. The shoulder is a significant load-bearing joint, and consequently it can suffer injuries from a number of root causes.

Tears, arthritic pain, fractures and bursitis all make the short list of common shoulder injuries, along with a wide range of possible tendonitis. Although each of these injuries works in a different way, the net result is unmistakable: reduced mobility and searing pain when the shoulder is in motion or even at rest.

Most shoulder injuries take weeks or months to fully heal, which is why the pain tends to last so long. But if you have shoulder pain and want to achieve lasting relief, rest and therapy are your best bets. If these measures fail to solve the problem, it may be time to speak with a San Diego orthopedic surgeon to learn more today.

Wrist Arthroscopy: An Overview

One of my jobs as an orthopedic surgeon is to scour the world’s medical literature looking for good resources for my patients. Because I field so many questions about the details of shoulder surgery, elbow surgery, and knee surgery, I am constantly on the lookout for lay articles about these common procedures.

This site fits the bill. Dedicated exclusively to the mechanics of arthroscopic wrist surgery, the page offers a detailed look at the various instruments and procedures we use for the procedure. It starts with this overview of the scope itself:

The surgeon makes small incisions (called portals) through the skin in specific locations around a joint. . . .These incisions are less than half an inch long. The arthroscope, which is approximately the size of a pencil, is inserted through these incisions. The arthroscope contains a small lens, a miniature camera, and a lighting system.

The piece goes on to describe the difference between diagnostic surgery and corrective surgery, and discusses the various ailments that can benefit from the process including ligament tears, cysts, and carpal tunnel.

These are the tools I use every day as an orthopedic surgeon in San Diego. If you read the page and still have questions, please contact the wrist surgery experts at AOSM today.

Arthritis of the Wrist: Here’s What You Need to Know

Wrist injuries include everything from fractures and tears to repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. But one of the most common is also one of the slowest to develop: arthritis.

Wrist arthritis can arise for a number of reasons, including overuse and genetics, but one type – post traumatic wrist arthritis – comes from of injuries suffered by the patent, sometimes many years before:

Generally, this type of arthritis may develop in the months to years following a fracture or other severe injury in the wrist. The patient does not remember the injury event if it occurred years earlier. Improper healing of wrist bone fractures can cause parts of the affected bone to become poorly aligned or even die, which negatively affects the cartilage.

Arthritic pain can be acute and long-lasting, stealing mobility from patients of every age. Although some medications may be able to rein in that pain, the damage to your body’s cartilage can be difficult to reverse in any lasting way.

Surgery for wrist arthritis can relieve some of the most advanced symptoms of the disorder. The only way to know for sure whether you are a good candidate for wrist arthritis surgery is to contact an experienced San Diego orthopedic surgeon. Start here to get some fast answers today.

Relieve Elbow Pain Here in San Diego

Muscle and tendon pain in the elbow is typically given one of two names: tennis elbow for the outside of the joint, and golfer’s elbow for the inside. Both injuries are related: when repetitive movements stress the tendons anywhere past their limit, the resulting pain can be persistent and difficult to treat.

This article takes a look at an escalating series of options for resolving elbow pain, from rest and anti-inflammatories to steroids and surgery. Of that last option, the author notes that although it is generally a last resort, it also may be necessary:

“The last resort is surgery, an arthroscopic tendon release,” Suppiah says. “But it might be necessary if you suffer from repeated issues with the tendons — tendinosis — and nothing else works.”

The first step in resolving your elbow pain is to visit an orthopedic surgeon in San Diego. When you speak with the professionals in my office, you can expect the gold standard in diagnosis and care. If elbow surgery is required, I can speak with you about the best options right away.

Hand and Wrist Pain from RSI

Repetitive stress is one of the most pernicious injuries you can suffer, and the pain can be severe. Many office workers who experience repetitive stress injuries, or RSI, must contend with aching, burning, and reduced mobility in the shoulder, elbow, hands and wrist.

One recent article took a look at the incidence of RSI throughout different joints and muscles, and found a possibly familiar pattern:

Wrists are the most common trouble spots, with seven out of 10 survey respondents (69%) identifying this as the joint most likely to be affected, followed by fingers (29%), forearms (23%) and thumbs (20%). Elbows and shoulders can also be stiff and/or painful, and even knees and feet can suffer if a job involves a lot of kneeling, or operating foot pedals on equipment.

Treating RSI typically involves a range of options, from rest and ice to exercise, therapy, and ultimately surgery. If scar tissue has developed or mobility permanently impaired, it may be time to speak with an orthopedic surgeon about some options to relieve your pain.

As one of the best orthopedic surgeons in San Diego, I offer one-stop diagnosis and treatment in my surgical center. Patients get a full consultation on site, followed by imaging and other tests to determine precisely where the problem lies. Once we have a plan in place, I offer follow-through care to ensure the pain doesn’t return.

If you’d like to resolve the lingering pain of RSI in San Diego, please contact my offices today.

Elbow Pain Relief

The human elbow is prone to a variety of ailments ranging from tendonitis to bursitis to traumatic injury. Of these, the most common is tennis elbow, a condition where tendons surrounding the bony joint known as the lateral epicondyle become inflamed with overuse, resulting in persistent pain.

Treating tennis elbow properly requires more than just rest and painkillers; it also requires a deep understanding of the biomechanics that led to the injury in the first place. If your work or hobby involves repeated twisting motions, for instance, an orthopedic specialist may need to help you find better ways to do the work without injuring this region.

My orthopedic surgery practice specializes in treating elbow pain and helping patients find their way back to an active and fulfilling schedule. If you’d like to learn more about how we work and why so many of our patients call us the best orthopedic surgery center in San Diego, please contact us here today.

The Latest Knee Implant Surgery Devices

The meniscus of the knee is a sort of pad that keeps the large, heavy bones of the joint from abrading each other with every step. When your meniscus becomes inflamed or degraded, the resulting pain can be intense.

As an orthopedic surgeon in San Diego, I treat a number of children and adults with meniscus injuries, prescribing a range of interventions from rest and steroids to arthroscopic knee surgery. Although these treatments work well, it wasn’t until recently that soft tissue such as the meniscus could be replaced wholesale.

Now a new device is making waves here in the states – an artificial meniscus that has already won over converts in Europe. It was recently granted its first human trial in Boston:

Doctors inserted NUsurface meniscus implant in the knee of Brockton, Mass., resident Rob Price at Brigham and Women’s Hospital before Thanksgiving. Price had his ACL replaced in his left knee, and his meniscus was removed because of a tear, about 10 years ago after playing basketball.

The prognosis looks good so far, even as the device continues to undergo FDA scrutiny. If and when it earns widespread approval, this device will represent yet another leap forward in our treatment of knee pain and knee injuries.

Want to learn more about surgery for knee pain in San Diego? Contact my practice here.

Treating Frozen Shoulder in San Diego

Frozen shoulder syndrome, also called adhesive capsulitis, is a profoundly painful condition in which the shoulder becomes progressively more immobilized over a period of weeks or months. The resulting near-paralysis is utterly incapacitating, rendering active people unable to lift, throw, or sometimes even hold a pen.

The typical treatments for frozen shoulder include steroids and physical therapy. Most orthopedists such as myself will start with therapy and graduate to steroids if necessary; in extreme cases orthopedic shoulder surgery may be indicated to help remove some of the scar tissue that has built up around the glenoid fossa.

The best way to resolve frozen shoulder is to speak with an expert sooner rather than later. Frozen shoulder can arise from different causes, and the only way to identify the culprit for sure is with imaging and a sound medical history. Once your treatment plan has been established, most cases of frozen shoulder have a good prognosis.

To get the best treatment for frozen shoulder in San Diego, contact orthopedic surgeon Dr. William Holland today.

Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon in San Diego

Pediatric orthopedic surgery is a different animal from adult orthopedic surgery. Beyond the fact that adults possess many emotional skills that children do not, there is also the fact that operating on a growing body presents a unique set of challenges.

Bones that are extending and ligaments that are stretching require a level of care and expertise that adult anatomy does not. Pediatric surgery is primarily interested not just in how to heal, but in how to help patients grow without undue pain or inhibited movement. Pediatric orthopedic surgeons must therefore consider not just the clear present, but the hazy future as well.

As a San Diego orthopedic surgeon, I take great care with my younger patients, walking kids and their parents through every step of each procedure. Whether your child has suffered a knee injury, shoulder injury, or elbow/wrist injury, my staff and I take the time to communicate the best options and set every family on a path toward effective recovery.

If your child has suffered an injury that requires expert pediatric surgical care in San Diego, please contact my offices here today.