Shoulder and Elbow Treatment

At Riverside, we know that constant shoulder or elbow pain doesn’t have to be a way of life.

To relieve your pain and inflammation, your doctor may recommend joint injections, physical therapy and other therapies. But, for some, the non-surgical route doesn’t provide enough pain relief and surgery is the next level of treatment.

Arthroscopic Surgery
Riverside orthopedic surgeons often use a minimally invasive procedure called arthroscopic surgery. Many shoulder and most elbow conditions can be treated using out-patient arthroscopic surgery, which has the advantage of allowing the surgeon to see inside the joint using a miniature video camera with an incision as small as a quarter of an inch.

Conditions commonly treated with arthroscopic surgery include:

  • Loose pieces of cartilage
  • Rotor cuff tears
  • Frozen shoulder
  • AC joint arthritis
  • Bicep tendonitis
  • Shoulder instability
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Tennis elbow


Joint Surgery
For some conditions, the minimally invasive procedures are not effective. For these more complex joint problems, the surgeon must use surgery. The purpose for all of these surgeries is to relieve pain and restore function by reconstructing, replacing, or realigning the joint. There are several types of arthroplasty procedures:

  • Joint resection involves removing a portion of the bone from a stiffened shoulder joint, increasing the space between the bone and the shoulder socket. The result is increased range of motion and reduced pain, but the joint may be less stable.
  • Interpositional reconstruction is surgery to reshape the joint and add a prosthetic disk between the two bones forming the joint.
  • Total joint replacement removes a diseased shoulder joint and replaces it with an artificial joint, called a prosthesis. Shoulder replacement is typically used for people with severe joint damage from arthritis or an injury. Conditions helped by shoulder replacement include:
    • Severe shoulder fractures
    • Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease)
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Post-traumatic arthritis
    • Rotator cuff tear arthropathy (a combination of severe arthritis and a massive non-reparable rotator cuff tendon tear)
    • Avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis)