Dr Heckroodt Laubscher

Specialist Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon

What is Open Shoulder Surgery?

Open surgery refers to a traditional, surgical approach to addressing problems with connective tissue in the shoulder. A shoulder orthopaedic surgeon will make an incision of about 5 cm just above the affected area that they need to access under the skin and muscle.

While recovery times are longer for open surgery, the size and scope of the work done during open surgery may be necessary for intensive work, like total shoulder replacement surgery. Opening the shoulder gives surgeons the ability to work with more precision and care.
Open surgery may also be a necessity in order to prevent complications. Certain procedures are more delicate than others, like total shoulder replacement surgery, and the increased working space that open surgery provides increases their chances of successfully treating the patient.
Overall, more severe conditions and more intensive procedures may be too difficult for an arthroscopic approach to be suitable.