Question:I've had a few shoulder injuries from sports. Now my doctor says I need surgery to stabilize my shoulder. I don't want to wind up with a stiff shoulder. What type of surgery's best for me?
Arthroscopic techniques seem to do a good job of keeping shoulders stable and flexible. A recent study compared the results of patients who had arthroscopic treatment with those who had regular "open" surgery. Two to five years after surgery, patients who had arthroscopy had better range of movement in their shoulders. These shoulders had 10 degrees more flexibility in some movements than those that had open surgery.
This was the only difference between the two groups. Strength and function was the same. Also, both kinds of surgery resulted in stable shoulders for 85 to 90 percent of patients.
Talk with your doctor about his or her experiences with different kinds of surgery. Following a prescribed physical therapy program can help reduce stiffness no matter which surgery you choose.
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