Understanding the Different Types of Shoulder Surgeries

October 03, 2023

ysical Doctor consulting with patient About Shoulder muscule pain problems

Shoulder surgeons can perform dozens of minimally invasive and open surgeries to improve your shoulder function. From repairing tendons to replacing the shoulder joint, these specialized orthopedic surgeons help relieve pain and improve your quality of life.

“After shoulder surgery, many of our patients experience full pain relief,” says Paul B. McLendon, M.D., a shoulder surgery specialist with Riverside Orthopedic Specialists. “They also see improved strength in their shoulder, though their full strength might not return.”

Dr. McLendon and orthopedic surgeons at Riverside commonly perform these shoulder surgeries — and many more.

Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair

Arthroscopic surgery uses small incisions and a specialized camera and tools to repair tendons, ligaments or cartilage issues. During arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, shoulder surgeons can insert the camera through an incision near your shoulder and then use special tools to reconnect torn areas of your rotator cuff.

Superior capsular reconstruction

If your doctor can’t fully repair your rotator cuff, you might need arthroscopic superior capsular reconstruction instead. In this procedure, your orthopedic surgeon will connect your arm bone to your shoulder with grafted tissues. This connection helps support your shoulder so it can move as it should.


In this arthroscopic procedure, your doctor will look inside your shoulder joint for bone spurs, tissues or other growths that could painfully press against your shoulder tendons. To relieve pain, they can remove the bone spurs and part of the acromion (shoulder bone).

Arthroscopic biceps tenodesis

During biceps tenodesis, a minimally invasive surgery, your doctor can detach your torn bicep tendon from your shoulder and reconnect it to your upper arm. This procedure can help eliminate pain when you move your arm.

Anatomic shoulder replacement

Shoulder replacement surgery treats severe arthritis pain in your shoulder joint. Your surgeon will place a metal ball at the top of your arm bone and a plastic liner in your shoulder socket. The ball articulates with the liner, mimicking the motion of your natural shoulder joint.

Reverse shoulder replacement

In a reverse shoulder replacement, your surgeon places a metal ball in your shoulder socket and a plastic cup at the top of your arm bone. This type of shoulder replacement might be more effective for people who have suffered rotator cuff tears.

Distal clavicle excision

Sometimes your clavicle (collar bone) can compress the tendons in your shoulder, causing pain. In this procedure, your doctor removes part of your clavicle to relieve pressure and pain.

Distal biceps repair

During distal biceps repair, your surgeon uses minimally invasive methods to reattach your bicep to your arm bone. After the procedure, you will be able to use your arm better and regain your strength.

Triceps repair

Similar to biceps repair, your shoulder surgeon reattaches your triceps muscle to the back of your arm bone during this procedure. As your body heals, you’ll regain function in your arm.

When medicines and physical therapy haven’t helped, the expert orthopedic surgeons at Riverside Health System use the latest minimally invasive shoulder surgeries to improve shoulder and upper arm function. Learn more about our shoulder and elbow services. 

Related Articles

View All Posts
Physical Therapy Orthopedics +1 More

The Role of Hand Therapy

April 09, 2024
Learn More Hand Therapy
Primary Care Rheumatology +1 More

Joint pain or swelling? It could be arthritis, regardless of your age

December 07, 2023
Learn More Man feeling elbow pain
Sports Medicine Orthopedics

When should I see a doctor for a sports injury?

November 20, 2023
Learn More man grabbing his shoulder in the gym