People who are active may sometimes have pain in certain parts of their body like their arms and shoulders. If people were doing something that involved repetitive motion, like hammering or swinging an axe, then it is expected that doing such an activity for hours on end may result in pain. However, if the pain happens when no such activity has taken place, and is also accompanied by things such as loss of motion, stiffness in the shoulder, or pain when the weather turns humid, then it may be time to seek out a shoulder surgeon because there could be arthritis, and that professional will offer a variety of treatments available including surgery.
Surgeries Performed By a Shoulder Surgeon
According to the CDC, there are an estimated 52 million people that are diagnosed with arthritis every year. Out of those 52 million arthritis sufferers, 30 percent of them are between the ages of 45 and 64, and over 49 percent of them are over the age of 65. When people who are having shoulder problems seek out a doctor, that physician is going to refer them to a shoulder surgeon. The surgeon is going to perform an examination, and a few tests to see what the shoulder looks like. Depending on what the condition of the shoulder is, there are four types of shoulder surgery that both patient and doctor can discuss:
• Arthroscopic Debridement: A shoulder surgeon may recommend this kind of shoulder surgery if their patient has pain, but medical scans reveal that there is no tear in the tissue. An arthroscopic debridement is recommended when other forms of treatment have failed such as pain medication, physical therapy on the shoulder, or shots in the shoulder. With this procedure, an arthroscopic instrument is inserted into the shoulder, and tissue that is swollen or scarred is removed. Patients can go home the same day they have this surgery, and recovery time is between two and four weeks.
• Rotator Cuff Repair: If there is a tear in the shoulder, then the rotator cuff has to be repaired. With a tear, people have such pain and limited motion that they are not able to do much of anything involving their arm including lifting it higher than their head. Once again, a shoulder surgeon will use an arthroscopic instrument to go into the shoulder and repair the tear. Typically, the surgery takes only one to two hours, and recovery time is six weeks to heal, and then six months to one year of physical therapy to strengthen the shoulder and restore range of motion.
• Shoulder Replacement: This form of shoulder surgery is used in very advanced cases of shoulder problems. When the degeneration of the shoulder reaches the point when a lot of the cartilage is gone around it, then there is little choice but to replace the rotator cuff. With this surgery, patients will be in the hospital overnight, and their recovery can take up to one year, and the patient will also have to go for physical therapy.
Shoulder pain and limited motion can be caused by doing something very active like playing tennis or using a hammer while building something, but if the pain and limited motion does not go away then this is a sign that there may be a problem with the shoulder, such as a mild tear, that does require the expertise of a shoulder surgeon to repair it. Once the shoulder is surgically repaired, then physical therapy may be required once healing is over. With the help of a surgeon, people with chronic shoulder pain can get use of their arm back, and they can get back to a normal life doing the things they love without pain.