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Shoulder and Elbow

From torn rotator cuffs to complex instability of the elbow, Washington University orthopedic specialists at Barnes-Jewish Hospital have expertise in treating a wide range of shoulder and elbow conditions. Barnes-Jewish is widely recognized for excellent patient outcomes when performing minimally invasive procedures such as reverse shoulder arthroplasty, which helps to restore movement in irreparable rotator cuff tears. On average, our orthopedic surgeons perform more than 1,000 shoulder and elbow procedures annually.

Our team of specialty-trained physicians, physical and occupational therapists, and nurses also are skilled in treating patients seeking consultation and care after a failed surgery of the shoulder or elbow. In addition, we provide highly successful nonsurgical therapies to relieve pain and improve function.

Shoulder conditions treated and procedures performed at Barnes-Jewish include:

  • Shoulder dislocation or instability
  • Shoulder pain
  • Shoulder fractures
  • Frozen shoulder syndrome
  • Shoulder replacement
  • Osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis
  • Arthroscopic shoulder surgery
  • Rotator cuff injuries
Elbow conditions treated and procedures performed at Barnes-Jewish include:
  • Biceps tendonitis and biceps tendon rupture
  • Elbow dislocation or instability
  • Elbow fracture
  • Elbow replacement
  • Osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis
  • Bursitis and tendonitis

Initial treatment for shoulder and elbow conditions begins with a comprehensive evaluation. For many patients, conservative treatment and rehabilitation options are greatly beneficial. Among the nonsurgical procedures performed is the use of fluoroscopic-guided injections into painful or arthritic joints.

Minimally Invasive Surgery and Arthroscopy

If surgery is required, less invasive techniques are used to enable faster recovery with less pain and better mobility than with traditional open reconstructive surgery. These advanced techniques enable physicians to treat many shoulder and elbow disorders that historically led to years of pain and dysfunction. Typically, less invasive procedures are performed on an outpatient basis.

Minimally invasive shoulder and elbow procedures include, but are not limited to:
  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Joint instability repair
  • Labrum repair
  • Frozen shoulder release
  • Treatment for biceps disorders
  • Tennis elbow debridement
  • Joint contracture release
  • Debridement and release for elbow osteoarthritis
For the treatment of arthritis, our physicians are highly experienced in both shoulder and elbow joint replacement. Surgeons also are skilled in reconstruction of complex fractures around the shoulder and elbow. In some cases, fractures can be repaired using less invasive percutaneous (through the skin) fixation techniques, thereby eliminating the need for casting.

Rehabilitation following treatment is the key to a successful, functional outcome and pain relief. If surgery is performed, rehabilitation usually begins in the inpatient setting and continues on an outpatient basis.


 

Leesa Galatz, MD

Dr. Galatz is an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in traumatic and degenerative disorders of the shoulder and elbow; rotator cuff disorders; joint replacement of shoulder and elbow; arthroscopic surgery of the upper extremity, shoulder instability, shoulder & elbow trauma, sports related injuries of the upper extremity.

 

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