Shoulder Surgery

We offer advanced shoulder surgery, including minimally invasive arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and reverse shoulder replacement.

Shoulder Surgery Overview

Types of Shoulder Surgery

Our orthopedic surgeons have expertise in many types of shoulder surgery, including minimally invasive procedures that help people recover faster.

Types of shoulder surgery available at Aurora include:

  • Rotator cuff surgery: Every year, we treat thousands of people with rotator cuff tears. Your rotator cuff is a group of tissues that keep your arm bone within the shoulder socket. Rotator cuff tear is a common injury in people who perform repeated overhead motions. Learn more about rotator cuff surgery.
  • Shoulder replacement: We offer traditional shoulder replacement, as well as reverse shoulder replacement for people without a rotator cuff. Find out more about shoulder replacement at Aurora.
  • Arthroscopic shoulder surgery: Whenever possible, our orthopedists use minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to perform shoulder repairs, including both rotator cuff surgery and shoulder replacement surgeries. During arthroscopic surgery, a doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube with a camera through a small incision. This type of surgery offers faster recovery and minimal scarring compared to open surgery. Learn more about minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery at Aurora.

The Aurora Difference

Shoulder Surgery at Aurora

We perform more than 7,200 joint replacements - including shoulder replacements - annually, making us some of the most experienced joint specialists in Wisconsin. People choose Aurora specialists because we offer:

  • Shoulder expertise: Many of our orthopedic surgeons specialize in treating shoulder injuries and conditions. We also perform a large number of shoulder revisions to correct previous surgeries done at other hospitals. At Aurora, you can rest easy knowing that your surgeon has deep experience in surgical and nonsurgical management of your shoulder condition.
  • Advanced procedures: Our depth of expertise means we can provide surgical options that aren’t available everywhere else. We specialize in advanced procedures like reverse shoulder replacement – a popular option for people who don’t qualify for traditional shoulder replacement surgery.
  • Results-driven treatment: We are one of the only health systems statewide with a joint registry, where we track and analyze every joint replacement we perform. This data helps us in our quest for better outcomes like faster recovery times and less scarring.
  • Coordinated surgical support: Our multidisciplinary teams include orthopedists, physical therapists, primary care doctors and integrative care specialists. Each team collaborates closely throughout the treatment and rehabilitation process to provide you with a seamless surgical experience.
  • Convenient locations: With 15 hospitals and the most physical and occupational therapists in the state, we’re the largest integrated health system in Wisconsin. That means you can get convenient treatment and therapy close to where you live and work.

Find out more about orthopedic medicine and orthopedic surgery at Aurora.

What to Expect

Preparing for Shoulder Surgery

The type of shoulder surgery you undergo will depend on your injury or condition. If possible, your surgeon will recommend a minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to minimize your recovery time. No matter which type of shoulder surgery you need, our team will take the time to explain the surgical process and answer all of your questions.

Before your surgery, your surgeon may ask you to avoid eating or taking certain medications that increase your risk of bleeding. Depending on the procedure, your doctor may numb your shoulder and give you medication to make you feel drowsy, or you may receive general anesthesia to put you completely to sleep during surgery.

Recovering From Shoulder Surgery

Recovery time will vary depending on the type of surgery you receive. People who receive arthroscopic surgery often go home the same day, while those who have open surgery may need to spend a day or two recovering in the hospital.

After you go home, you’ll need to take medication to keep swelling down and pain to a minimum. Your doctor will provide specific instructions for protecting your shoulder, including any activity restrictions. Most shoulder surgery patients need physical therapy, where you’ll do exercises to help you regain joint mobility and function.

Find out more about orthopedic physical therapy at Aurora.

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