Your shoulders serve many functions. They allow you to brush your hair, throw a ball, lift a package from your doorstep … you get the picture. When these joints become injured or start to suffer wear and tear, they limit your range of motion and make performing daily tasks uncomfortable. If this becomes the case for you, we invite you to contact Schumacher Orthopedics to meet with Dr. Gregory Schumacher for an evaluation.

A Guide to the Shoulder

The shoulder is one of the largest joints in the human body and has a wide range of motion. It is a ball and socket type joint formed by three bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), the scapula (shoulder blade) and the clavicle (collarbone). All the bones in the shoulder are supported and connected by muscles, cartilage, nerves, bursas, blood vessels and ligaments.

Shoulder Procedures Available at Schumacher Orthopedics

Labral Repair To Correct Shoulder Instability

The labrum is a cuff of cartilage found at the rim of the ball and socket joint in the shoulder. When the labrum has a tear, it can make the ball slide out of the socket joint and cause your shoulder to be unstable or dislocated. To correct the stability of your shoulders, our orthopedic surgeon may have to perform one of the two surgical treatments depending on where the tear occurred: a SLAP repair or Bankart repair.Arthroscopic SLAP Repair: This type of labral repair is recommended when you have a tear that runs from the front to the back of the socket. For this procedure, Dr. Gregory Schumacher will use a small camera and special tools to create a small hole in the bone of where the labrum was. Once this is done, he will place strong sutures in the hole to secure them around the torn labrum and attach them to the bone.

Arthroscopic Bankart Repair: This type of labral repair is conducted when we find torn fibrocartilage in the front of the socket joint in your shoulder. For this procedure, we use sutures to reattach the labrum to the glenoid (socket).

Latarjet Procedure

The Latarjet procedure is a surgical technique developed by a French surgeon in the 1950s. It has been commonly used to treat shoulder dislocations but is now mostly recommend to those who have experienced bone loss in the shoulder socket.For this procedure, Dr. Gregory Schumacher will make an incision to move the coracoid slightly to the front of your shoulder socket. Once this has been transferred over, he will screw it into place to correct any instability and ease your shoulder pain.

Revision Stability Work

Revision stability work is typically recommended when you have a failed repair from outside facilities or have a reinjury. For this, our orthopedic surgeon may perform an arthroscopic shoulder technique to treat any bone loss and secure fixation.

Rotator Cuff Repair

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons in the socket joint of the shoulder that works to move around your arm. A tear in the rotator cuff can occur when the tendons are pulled away from the bone. To treat a tear, our orthopedic surgeon may recommend performing a rotator cuff repair.For this procedure, Dr. Gregory Schumacher will make an incision and repair the injured tendon by inserting a graft gathered from a different section of your body. Then, this will be stitched closed and covered with a bandage to help you on your road to recovery.

Arthroscopic Double-Row Rotator Cuff Repair

If we find a severe tear in the rotator cuff, our orthopedic surgeon may recommend double-row arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. This involves restoring the natural anatomy of your torn tendon back to the humerus bone of the shoulder to correct your stability.

Revision Rotator Cuff Repair

A revision rotator cuff is a surgical procedure we perform if you have reoccurring tears after your rotator repair procedure. These can happen as the result of injury or the failure of tendons to attach back to the humerus bone in the shoulder. For this procedure, we will identify the problem tendon and reattach it to the original attachment site.

Treatment of Ruptured Biceps Tendon

Located at the front of your upper arm is your biceps muscle. This is supported by tendons made to attach to the shoulder and the elbow. Injuries to biceps tendons are very sudden and occur when there is too much forced resistance against your elbow.After evaluating the severity of your ruptured tendon, Dr. Gregory Schumacher will either suggest a nonsurgical treatment to relieve the pain or surgery to reattach the tendon to the bone.

Treatment of Shoulder Separations

A shoulder separation occurs when the CC ligaments in the AC joint are torn between the shoulder blade and collarbone. This is usually the result of falling directly onto your shoulder. To treat shoulder separations, our orthopedic surgeon may perform a CC ligament reconstruction or AC joint repair.For CC ligament reconstruction, Dr. Gregory Schumacher will insert a tissue graft to restructure the ligaments and fix the position of the clavicle (collarbone). In an AC joint repair, he will repair the ligaments with sutures.

Treatment for Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement is a common type of shoulder pain that occurs when you experience a pinch between the rotator cuff and shoulder blade. When this occurs, your muscles and tendons start to become inflamed and potentially cause a tear in the rotator cuff.To treat shoulder impingement, we will most likely administer a steroid injection. If this does not work to relieve your pain over time, we may recommend arthroscopic decompression. This is a surgical procedure we perform to view the inside of the joint and take out any damaged bone and tissue.

Treatment for Arthritis (Distal Clavicle Resection)

Arthritis is commonly found in the AC joint of the shoulder and is usually treated with medication or steroid injections. However, if these conservative treatments are not working, our orthopedic surgeon may recommend performing a distal clavicle resection.A distal clavicle resection is a surgical technique we use to take out the end of the clavicle in the AC joint. Having this done allows you to find relief from pain and restore your range of motion.

Clavicle Fractures and Complex Breaks

A clavicle fracture, also known as a broken collarbone, can happen to anyone as the result of:

  • Sports injuries
  • Bike or auto accidents
  • A trip or fall directly onto your shoulder

Our orthopedic surgeon will perform an MRI to determine the severity of the fracture. Many fractures and complex breaks can be healed without surgery, whereas serious cases may need surgery to correct the alignment of the bones.


When To Seek Care for Your Shoulder?

You should make an appointment with our orthopedic surgeon in Anchorage, Alaska, if you:

  • Cannot lift or bend your arm
  • Experience aches and pain when you move your shoulder around
  • Have difficulty sleeping
  • Feel tingling sensations or numbness
  • See swelling or bruising
  • Do not feel better within two to four weeks

During your visit, Dr. Gregory Schumacher will assess your shoulder using X-rays or an MRI to see what procedure would best fit your needs.

To schedule an appointment with us, please contact Schumacher Orthopedics at 907-206-5086.