Shoulder and Elbow

Over the last decade, significant advances have been made in the treatment of shoulder conditions – and here you'll find those advances being used to benefit our patients every day. Our comprehensive services include the entire range of orthopaedic and sports medicine care: from the latest surgical interventions to state-of-the-art rehabilitation designed to accelerate recovery.

Our fellowship-trained experts are using new breakthroughs – such as reverse shoulder replacement – to successfully help patients whose injuries were once considered beyond repair. Equally important, new minimally-invasive techniques – including arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and arthroscopic reconstruction for instability – are allowing us to dramatically reduce recovery times.

From common overuse injuries to the most complex reconstruction and revision surgeries, our highly experienced orthopaedic and sports medicine surgeons are creating outstanding outcomes for patients of all ages.

Frequently treated conditions and procedures include:

  • Shoulder scope
  • Shoulder replacement
  • Elbow scope
  • Elbow replacement
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Shoulder impingement (bursitis)
  • Dislocations
  • Labral tears
  • Shoulder instability
  • Shoulder separation (acromioclavicular joint injury)
  • Fractures
  • Overuse injuries
  • Frozen shoulder (capsulitis)

Arthoscopic Shoulder Surgery

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive procedure performed through several small (half inch) incisions using a surgical video camera and specialized instruments that grasp and manipulate the internal structures of the shoulder. This allows the surgeon to correct problems in the joint without the use of a traditional open incision.

Rotator cuff repair

The rotator cuff is a tendon that covers the ball of the “ball and socket” shoulder joint. Just like the cuff of your shirt going around your wrist, the rotator cuff goes all around the shoulder, making it important for your range of motion in all directions. If there is a tear in the rotator cuff, the patient will typically have difficulty moving the arm in one or more directions. Other common symptoms of a tear include weakness and night pain that disturbs sleep. Usually an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is needed to determine the size and location of the rotator cuff tear so that your surgeon may decide if surgery is right for you. If surgery is needed, our team of surgeons are ready with the latest techniques and technology for reliable rotator cuff repair and healing, including biologically “vented” anchors that bring bone marrow stem cells to the repair site and soft tissue “grafts” that may be used to patch up a large gap in the rotator cuff. For certain patients who have a large tear that cannot be repaired with traditional techniques, we offer newer surgical techniques such as “superior capsular reconstruction” and rotator cuff “graft augmentation.”

Shoulder Repair for Instability (dislocation)

Shoulder dislocation, called instability, is most common among younger active patients who have sustained trauma from their athletic activities. Because the shoulder has such a large natural range of motion, it also has the highest risk of dislocation of all the large joints in our body. Following a shoulder dislocation, the labrum, which is the soft tissue ring around the shoulder socket, often gets torn. This leads to a tendency for the shoulder to dislocate again, because a healthy labrum’s job is to keep the ball centered in the socket. For patients with unstable, painful shoulders who have not healed with conservative treatment, our surgeons will routinely perform minimally invasive arthroscopic labral repairs and reconstructions, including arthroscopic remplissage (bone divot filling procedure) to stabilize and strengthen the shoulder.

Total Shoulder Replacement

Traditional: The standard or traditional shoulder replacement is used to treat bone on bone shoulder arthritis that has not responded to conservative treatments, including physical therapy, medications, and injections. This surgery is similar to a knee or hip replacement, and involves resurfacing the arthritic ends of the ball and socket joint with specially designed orthopedic implants. Our surgeons perform the anatomic total shoulder replacement, which strives to keep the patient’s normal surrounding tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissue so that the newly replaced shoulder joint feels more natural and has greater range of motion.

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

Our orthopaedic surgeons specialize in one of the newest and most important advances in the treatment of rotator cuff tears: arthroscopic repair. For many of our patients, this minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure is making a significant difference in comfort and recovery while offering outstanding clinical outcomes.

Instead of the traditional open surgery or mini-open approach in which muscle is detached, delicate arthroscopic instruments and techniques allow our surgeons to successfully repair this common injury through three to four very small puncture wounds. By preserving the deltoid muscle, most patients experience better range-of-motion, accelerated rehabilitation, as well as less pain and scarring.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

For those with a torn rotator cuff and shoulder arthritis, simply raising their arm can be extremely painful, if not impossible. A new and innovative shoulder replacement surgery features a reverse ball/socket technique that can dramatically lessen pain and improve function – even for patients with extensive rotator cuff damage, instability or a previous failed surgery.

In the healthy shoulder, the upper arm bone (humerus) ends in a ball shape which fits into a socket formed by the shoulder blade (scapula). With a reverse shoulder replacement, the anatomy, or structure, of the healthy shoulder is reversed: the ball portion is attached to the scapula and the socket is placed at the upper end of the humerus.

By reversing the ball and the socket, the deltoid muscle (the large shoulder muscle) becomes more efficient and often compensates for the torn rotator cuff – allowing patients to regain their range of motion and quality of life.

Our Providers

Our Provider

Donald E. Bittner, MD
Donald E. Bittner, MD
Orthopedic Surgery, Hand Surgery
City:  Fullerton
4.9 out of 5

Meet Our Program Director

Our Locations

Fullerton - Orthopedics

Fullerton - Orthopedics

Address
2141 N. Harbor Blvd.
Suite 35000
Fullerton, CA 92835
Hours

Mon - Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

View This Location