Comprehensive Arthroscopic Management - CAM Procedure - Successfully Delays Shoulder Replacement for Young, Active Patients with Shoulder Osteoarthritis

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The comprehensive arthroscopic management (CAM) procedure, developed by Dr. Peter Millett, Director of Shoulder Surgery at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado, has been proven as an effective alternative to delay shoulder replacement in young, active patients.

Peter Milett, M.D., Director of Shoulder Surgery at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado

Peter Milett, M.D., Director of Shoulder Surgery at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado

Newly published research, shows that the innovative CAM procedure is a viable surgical option to delay shoulder replacement for young, active adults suffering from shoulder osteoarthritis (OA). Dr. Millett, Director of Shoulder Surgery at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado developed a joint-preserving arthroscopic treatment approach - called the Comprehensive Arthroscopic Management (CAM) procedure - to reduce pain, improve function, and delay the need for shoulder replacement for young, active patients.

The CAM procedure is a newly developed, innovative treatment for shoulder osteoarthritis. OA of the shoulder is a common cause of shoulder pain and dysfunction for many patients. Symptoms of OA include: pain, loss of motion, and functional impairments. To diagnose this condition an x-ray will show joint space narrowing and the formation of bone spurs, which is a confirmation of shoulder osteoarthritis. Total shoulder replacement is an effective treatment option for shoulder OA, but it is not ideal in young and otherwise active individuals.

The CAM procedure is performed using minimally-invasive arthroscopic surgery. Pain is alleviated by removing loose and torn cartilage and by decompressing nerves that are impinged by bone spurs. The CAM procedure also restores motion by excising scar tissue and re-shaping the ball of the shoulder so that movement is more fluid and full.

The exact incidence of shoulder OA is still unknown – recent research has shown it to be associated with older age and prior trauma to the shoulder. There are multiple non-operative treatment options for OA, but in more severe cases surgical treatment is recommended. In the cases of young, active adults, the CAM procedure is an option that can preserve the shoulder and delay the need for total shoulder replacement.

To analyze the effectiveness of the CAM procedure, Dr. Millett conducted a study at The Steadman Clinic with 29 active patients (30 shoulders) who were diagnosed with advanced shoulder osteoarthritis and were otherwise candidates for shoulder replacement. As an alternative to total shoulder replacement, Dr. Millett treated each patient with the CAM procedure.

Patients were followed for a minimum of 2 years. The outcome measures of this study included pain level, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation score, QuickDASH (short version of Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire) score, and patient satisfaction. The study found that the CAM procedure reduced pain, improved function, and provided reasonable short-term durability for the cohort of young, active patients. The study concluded that the CAM procedure is a viable surgical option in young, active patients with advanced shoulder osteoarthritis.

To learn more about the CAM procedure, click here.

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Kristin Mapstone
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