As a point of connection between the arm and our body, the shoulder plays an important role and serves many uses. And because it is so often used, damage from injuries and overuse lead to more than 50,000 shoulder surgeries every year in the U.S.

The shoulder is made up of three main bones, two joints, tendons, and muscle. With so many moving pieces, there are several different types of injuries that can occur and thus a variety of different procedures to correct them.

Below are five common types of shoulder surgery, all of which can be performed by the professionals at Carolinas Center for Surgery.

Which Shoulder Surgery Do You Need?

Shoulder arthroscopy

Arthroscopy involves making a small incision in the shoulder and inserting a tiny camera that allows the doctor to locate and identify any damage. Then, an additional small incision is made and the surgeon inserts a small instrument that is used to repair the infected area.

Arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive and does not require as long of a recovery time as an open surgery.

Rotator cuff surgery

The group of muscles and tendons that form a sleeve or “cuff” over the shoulder joint are known as the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff secures your arm inside the shoulder joint and allows the shoulder joint to move and rotate properly.

Overuse or injury can cause damage to the rotator cuff, which can be repaired with surgery. Depending on the type and extent of the damage, rotator cuff surgery can involve a larger open incision or smaller incisions to allow arthroscopic access to the damaged area.

Torn labrum surgery

The flat, shallow portion of your shoulder blade is called the glenoid and this is where a rubbery tissue known as the labrum is found. The labrum forms a cup-like shape around the shoulder and serves as a socket, allowing your arm to move about while anchored into your shoulder.

When overuse or injury causes that rubbery tissue to tear, surgery may be needed. Surgery to repair a torn labrum is typically done arthroscopically to reattach the labrum to the shoulder socket.

Shoulder arthritis treatment

Arthritis is caused by inflammation of a joint, which leads to pain, discomfort, stiffness, and limited range of motion. When other types of treatment are unsuccessful, surgery may be needed to rid your shoulder of arthritis.


Surgery to treat arthritis in the shoulder is most often done arthroscopically. Depending on the type and severity of the arthritis, the doctor may just clean up the infected area. For more severe cases, a small amount of bone may be removed from the collarbone to free up the shoulder, or the infected parts of the shoulder might be removed and replaced with an artificial material.

Fracture repair

Sometimes when a fracture takes place in the shoulder, the broken bones are left positioned in a way that will allow them to heal simply by immobilizing the shoulder in a sling. But other times, the fractured bones are knocked into a position that will require surgery to move them back into place.

Depending on the nature of the fracture, this type of surgery may be done as an open incision or arthroscopically.

Schedule Your Consultation

If damage to your shoulder is affecting your quality of life, schedule a consultation to see about shoulder surgery in Jacksonville, NC, or learn more about additional types of orthopedic surgery available at Carolinas Center for Surgery.