Dr. Josh Hudgens’ extensive experience in surgery enables him to provide patients at EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region with precise diagnosis and treatment for different shoulder-related injuries and conditions. As an expert shoulder surgeon, Dr. Hudgens specializes in arthroscopic (minimally invasive) and open procedures to treat shoulder issues such as shoulder arthritis, rotator cuff tears, trauma/fractures, and instability.

When Should You See an Orthopedic Shoulder Specialist?

A patient smiles during a shoulder examination because the shoulder doctor assures her that she is in good care.
Shoulder injuries can be painful and debilitating, impacting your daily activities and overall quality of life. While some mild injuries may heal independently, others require professional care and medical attention. This is where an orthopedic shoulder specialist can help. But when should you see one? If you experience any pain or discomfort in your shoulder, especially after an injury or accident, seeking medical attention is essential.

An orthopedic shoulder specialist is trained to diagnose and treat injuries, conditions, and diseases affecting the shoulder joint. They have expertise in both surgical and nonsurgical treatments, allowing them to provide personalized care and treatment options based on your specific needs. If you are experiencing any shoulder pain or limitations, do not hesitate to consult an orthopedic shoulder specialist who can diagnose and provide personalized treatment options to help you achieve optimal healing and recovery.

What Types of Injuries Do Shoulder Surgeons Perform?

Shoulder surgeons perform various procedures to address a range of shoulder injuries, conditions, and diseases. Depending on the severity and complexity of the case, orthopedic shoulder surgeons may prescribe nonsurgical treatments or perform minimally invasive or open surgeries to restore the function and mobility of the shoulder joint. With that said, an orthopedic shoulder specialist will recommend surgery if all nonsurgical treatments have been exhausted.

Common Shoulder Surgeries

Shoulder Arthroscopy

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves using small instruments and a tiny camera called an arthroscope to diagnose and treat problems in the shoulder joint. The arthroscope is a thin tube with a high-resolution camera attached to the end, which is inserted into the shoulder joint through a small incision. This allows the surgeon to see inside the joint and identify any problems that may be present. During the surgery, the surgeon uses small instruments to remove damaged tissue, repair torn ligaments or tendons, or reposition a dislocated shoulder joint.

Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder replacement surgery is a medical procedure in which a damaged or diseased shoulder joint is replaced with an artificial joint. It is also known as shoulder arthroplasty. This surgery may be necessary if the patient’s shoulder joint becomes severely damaged due to injury, arthritis, or other conditions. During the surgery, the surgeon will remove the damaged or diseased parts of the patient’s shoulder joint and replace them with an artificial joint that is made of metal, plastic, or a combination of the same.

If a shoulder replacement needs to be replaced or fixed, a revision shoulder replacement procedure will replace an existing artificial shoulder joint. Some reasons for needing revision shoulder replacement surgery include implant loosening or wear, infection, instability, or joint dislocation.

Common Shoulder Conditions Treated


Shoulder arthritis surgery is a medical procedure that seeks to relieve the pain and stiffness that are commonly associated with arthritis of the shoulder. Shoulder arthritis surgery can take several different forms depending on the individual case. Some people may benefit from shoulder arthroscopy. Other cases may require a partial or complete shoulder replacement.

Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator cuff surgery is typically performed to repair a torn tendon in the shoulder. It can be performed traditionally (also known as an open procedure), or it can be performed using a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure. The arthroscopic technique utilizes small, buttonhole incisions to repair the injury site.

Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability, or shoulder dislocation, occurs when the upper end of the arm bone pops out of the shoulder joint. This injury may be caused by a direct blow to the shoulder, a fall on an outstretched hand or arm, or an exaggerated overhead throwing motion. Arthroscopic stabilization (dislocated shoulder surgery) repairs and stabilizes the shoulder joint by reattaching torn ligaments to the joint using suture anchors.


Shoulder trauma or fracture surgery involves repairing a broken bone or other damage to the shoulder caused by an injury. This type of surgery is performed by a shoulder specialist or orthopedic shoulder surgeon and can be either open or minimally invasive, depending on the severity of the injury.

In open surgery, the surgeon makes a large incision in the shoulder and uses surgical tools to realign and repair the damaged bone or tissue. This may involve using screws, plates, wires, or other fixation devices to hold the bones in place as they heal.

In minimally invasive surgery, the surgeon uses small incisions and specialized tools to repair the injury. This may include arthroscopic surgery, which uses a tiny camera and tools to access the shoulder joint and repair damage without making large incisions.

Other common shoulder conditions treated by a shoulder doctor include:

  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Shoulder Impingement
  • Shoulder Bursitis
  • Athletic Shoulder Injuries
  • Glenoid Labrum Tear
  • Shoulder Separation

How Can You See an Orthopedic Surgeon for Shoulder Pain?

If you are experiencing shoulder pain affecting your daily life, meet with Dr. Hudgens or any of EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region’s expert shoulder doctors to discuss your treatment options. Your appointment will include a comprehensive physical evaluation to diagnose the cause of your pain and create a customized treatment plan.

To learn more about how an orthopedic shoulder specialist can help, request a consultation with Dr. Hudgens or call us at 984.666.2201.