Shoulder Surgery

Because of its great flexibility, the shoulder is prone to injury, both during athletic activities that involve excessive and repetitive overhead motion and in everyday activities such as gardening. 

In case of shoulder injury, the orthopaedic surgeons at UT Southwestern Medical Center always look for nonsurgical treatments as a first course of action. However, for some patients who have suffered a severe shoulder injury, surgery may be the best treatment.

If surgery is required, your UT Southwestern orthopaedic surgeon is highly trained and experienced in the latest minimally invasive arthroscopic and open surgery techniques, including total shoulder reconstruction and replacement and reverse total shoulder replacement.


Signs and symptoms of a sports-related shoulder injury can include:

  • Pain or stiffness in the shoulder and upper arm
  • Weakness in the shoulder
  • Restricted range of motion


Shoulder injuries that may be respond to surgical treatment include:

  • Severe rotator cuff tear
  • Acromioclavicular (ACL) joint injury
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Bicep tendinitis and tendon tears
  • Shoulder arthritis 


After a physical examination, your orthopaedic surgeon may use X-rays, arthograms (X-rays of the joints), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose the extent and severity of your shoulder injury.


If surgery becomes necessary to properly treat your shoulder injury, your surgeon will use the least invasive surgical methods available. Surgical options include arthroscopic and open surgery.

Arthroscopic Surgery

Many injuries such as rotator cuff tears and ACL joint injuries can be treated through arthroscopic surgery. A small incision is made and a tiny camera is inserted into the surgical site to guide surgeons through the procedure. Small surgical instruments are then inserted through the incision to perform the surgery.

Open Surgery

In more severe cases, or with some older patients, open surgery may provide the best results. With advancements in open surgery techniques and technology, incisions are smaller than ever, making recovery time shorter.

Our orthopaedic surgeons are highly trained and skilled in performing complex surgeries such as total shoulder replacements and more advanced reverse shoulder replacement.

Whatever shoulder treatment is necessary, our orthopaedic medicine specialists at UT Southwestern will work with you to choose a personalized treatment likely to get you back in action quickly and with the best long-term outcome.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a sports medicine specialist at UT Southwestern or to learn more about our services, please fill out the Appointment Request form or call 214-645-8300.

Shoulder Surgeons