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Glenelg Orthopaedics

Providing Quality Orthopaedic Care

Shoulder Surgery



Shoulder Surgery – what’s involved?

The shoulder is one of the most used joints in the body, and is highly susceptible to injuries through sports and/or wear and tear. Subsequently some people will need to undergo shoulder surgery during their lifetime.

One of the most common operations performed by Dr Gavin Nimon involves arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder and often in the form of reconstructions.

Shoulder Reconstruction can include surgery that can be as minor as decompressing or debriding (cleaning out) the shoulder region, so that tendons that are inflamed by spurs of bone are given more space.

It can also refer to repair of the tendons or ligaments around the shoulder (the main ones being repair of the rotator cuff tendons or repair of the gleno-humeral ligaments) the former to provide motion and the latter stabilise the shoulder. A labral or Bankart reconstruction, as is done for shoulder stability or dislocating shoulders.

What do we mean when we talk about “arthroscopic procedures?

An arthroscopic procedure involves the use of a tiny camera to thoroughly investigate the joint and tendons. The surgery, commonly referred to as keyhole surgery, is then undertaken to inspect the joint from the inside and repair any damaged tissue if required in a totally arthroscopic method, which leaves minimal scaring at the incision.

Procedures and recovery involving the Rotator Cuff

Complete ruptures of the rotator cuff usually require surgery which involves stitching the torn tendon back onto the humerus - the arm bone located between the elbow and the shoulder, using state-of-the-art suture techniques in a double row fashion. During the procedure, any subacromial spurs, arthritic Acromial Clavicular joints (ac joints) or extra bone formations can also be cleaned out (debrided).

Depending on the procedure, the patient may require a sling for a period between four to six weeks. The patient will normally not require a sling and is encouraged to move immediately if a debridement procedure has been performed where no tendon repairs were required.

Shoulder Replacements resulting from sporting injuries or significant arthritis

Open surgery for instability of the shoulder involves a bone transfer, known as a Laterjet procedure and is used more commonly in injuries sustained from high impact sports such as Australian Rules football.

A total shoulder replacement is undertaken in the case of significant arthritis of the gleno-humeral joint (shoulder joint) and proven surgical procedures are undertaken with implants that are considered to have the best long-term results as per the Australian Arthroplasty Register.

Dr Nimon will discuss the pros and cons of shoulder surgeries with each patient and will allow time to answer all your questions regarding the shoulder surgical procedures, options and expected outcome. To organise a consult call.