Treatment Options for Shoulder Injuries and Conditions
Q: Is surgery always necessary for shoulder injuries and conditions?
Before considering treatment, the first step in managing shoulder and elbow injuries is to establish the correct diagnosis. Your doctor cannot recommend treatment without knowing exactly what is the shoulder condition causing your problem.
Once you know the diagnosis of the particular shoulder problem, only then can treatment be recommended. Some shoulder conditions are best treated immediately with an operation, such as displaced fractures of the shoulder. However, the majority of shoulder conditions can be treated non-operatively.
The true measure of an experienced and quality surgeon, beyond simply technical expertise, is knowing when to operate and went to recommend non-operative treatment, which typically involves activity modification, pain medication, rehabilitation exercises, physical therapy, and a gradual return to sporting activities as comfort permits.
It is important to remember that recovery from shoulder injuries, whether the treatment is operative or non-operative, may take up to 3-6 months depending on the diagnosis. This may seem like an inordinately long time, but is a consequence of the complexity and high demands required for shoulder function A thorough discussion with your orthopedic surgeon will help you understand both the nature of your shoulder injury and the best course of treatment.
As a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder and elbow problems for over 30 years, and as Chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, I have focused my entire career on both the surgical and non-operative treatment of shoulder and elbow conditions. Please call 212-844-6735 if you wish to request an appointment.
Posted in: Shoulder Treatments