Minimally Invasive Surgery

When faced with the prospect of surgery, the traditional image of extensive incisions and prolonged recovery may cause apprehension. However, technological advancements have ushered in a new era in surgical procedures, offering a minimally invasive approach that minimizes trauma and accelerates recovery. Learn how minimally invasive surgery is performed, how it can treat shoulder injuries, and its recommended application.

Dr. Brent J. Morris, MD, in Lexington, Kentucky, has a wealth of experience performing minimally invasive surgeries. Contact our office to learn how a minimally invasive surgery could benefit you!

Dr. Brent J. Morris, MD, smiling.

Orthopedic Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon located in Lexington, KY

What is Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery involves performing procedures through small incisions. This is very different from traditional open surgery, which requires larger cuts.

This modern technique employs specialized instruments and imaging tools that enable surgeons to operate with precision through tiny openings. Dr. Morris is now able to use remote imaging equipment to accomplish many repairs without causing extensive damage to surrounding tissue.

Minimally invasive surgery includes various procedures, such as endoscopic surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and robotic surgery—each tailored to specific medical needs. When minimally invasive surgery is used to treat joints in the body, it is called arthroscopy.

How is Minimally Invasive Surgery Performed?

Dr. Morris uses shoulder arthroscopy to perform minimally invasive surgery. The surgical instruments are inserted into the surgical site through tiny incisions. 

This results in remarkable accuracy. This approach reduces the risk of complications, lowers blood loss, and minimizes tissue damage compared to traditional surgery.

Minimally Invasive Shoulder Surgeries

Dr. Morris can perform the following minimally invasive shoulder surgeries:

Rotator Cuff Repair

During a rotator cuff repair procedure, the tendon’s edges are aligned and secured by attaching it to the bone using sutures. To facilitate this attachment, surgeons commonly use small rivets known as suture anchors.

These anchors, made of various materials such as metal, plastic, or solely suture material, assist in securely fastening the tendon to the bone. Unlike other implants, these anchors are designed to remain in place post-surgery, eliminating the need for removal at a later stage.

Surgery for Impingement Syndrome

During this procedure, damaged or inflamed tissue located above the shoulder joint is removed. Dr. Morris may also cut the coracoacromial ligament and/or shave the underside of the acromion bone. The presence of a spur on the acromion’s underside can lead to inflammation and shoulder pain, prompting the surgical intervention to alleviate discomfort and restore functionality.

Surgery for Shoulder Instability

A torn labrum can cause shoulder instability. This is the cartilage that lines the rim of the shoulder joint. There are two common types of labrum tear. A Bankart lesion is when the lower part of the shoulder joint is torn. A part of the glenoid bone can also break off.

A SLAP lesion is when the top part of the labrum is torn along with the ligament. The labrum can be repaired along with any other torn ligaments in the same area.

When is Minimally Invasive Surgery Recommended?

Not every repair lends itself to minimally invasive surgery. For example, very large or multiple tears to your tendons may require open surgery, while smaller tendon tears make ideal candidates for arthroscopic procedures.

To determine which surgery is right for your case, Dr. Morris thoroughly evaluates the injury using imaging scans and a medical history review. From there, Dr. Morris decides based on achieving the most successful outcome while also meeting your goals.

Whether you have a torn rotator cuff or a labral tear, Dr. Morris generally prefers to go the minimally invasive route when possible. Still, some cases may require more aggressive open surgery to achieve the best results.

Risks of Minimally Invasive Surgeries

Even though minimally invasive surgeries carry fewer risks than open procedures, complications are still possible. If you have minimally invasive surgery on your shoulder, for example, you must still be placed under anesthesia, which carries its risks. And while the incisions are smaller in arthroscopic surgery, they are still vulnerable to bleeding and infection.

In some cases, Dr. Morris may be unable to repair the injury with minimally invasive surgery, so he may have to switch to open surgery during the procedure.

How Long Does it Take to Recover?

Recovering from minimally invasive surgery doesn’t take as long as recovering from an open surgery. However, you still have some downtime after the procedure, and you still need physical therapy to regain the full function of the injured area in most cases. Be sure to follow all your postoperative instructions to encourage a faster recovery.

Book a Consultation Today

Book your appointment with Dr. Brent J. Morris, MD, located in Lexington, Kentucky. Our doctor specializes in various minimally invasive techniques for shoulder repair.

He will prioritize your well-being by offering innovative solutions that align with your needs. Contact us today to explore how minimally invasive procedures might be the right choice for you or your loved ones!

Medically reviewed by Brent J. Morris, MD