How is Joint Preservation and Cartilage Restoration Performed?
Surgical intervention for arthritis of the shoulder has historically been limited to joint replacement which removes the painful and diseased areas of the shoulder, replacing them with metal and plastic bearings. However, in patients that would like to prolong the use of their native shoulder before having a replacement, there is an arthroscopic alternative that aims to remove scar tissue and decrease pain. This surgery involves using small incisions and a small camera to remove loose pieces of cartilage and “clean up” the joint. The surgery also usually includes a release of the capsule as well as removal of the joint lining, which is a source of pain and is often inflamed. In some cases, microfracture is used to attempt to restore areas of degenerated cartilage. The microfracture procedure involves making tiny holes in the bone that releases healing elements in the area of cartilage loss. This blood fills the defect and turns into scar tissue that behaves like cartilage.
Following surgery, Dr. Padalecki will arrange for a physical therapy program that helps restore motion and increase the strength of the muscles that stabilize the shoulder. Patients will often benefit from the use of the sling in the early weeks following surgery. Patients are allowed to eventually return to activities with a progressive return to shoulder function.
For additional information on shoulder joint preservation and cartilage restoration as a shoulder osteoarthritis treatment, please contact the office of Dr. Jeff Padalecki, orthopedic shoulder surgeon in Austin, Texas.