If you are active in sports or work in a profession that requires constant and repetitive motions of the shoulder, chances are high you have at one time injured your rotator cuff. Injuries to your rotator cuff can range from slight inflammation to tears. With a partial tear, the tendon may be torn or frayed; with a complete tear, expect the tendon tissue to be fully separated from the bone. Depending on the kind of injury you have, you can expect any one or more of the following treatments.
Rest and Activity Modification
If you are able to rest your shoulder, do so. If you aren’t due to work or other requirements, re-evaluate how you are performing your activities. Try to distribute weight of purses, backpacks and work gear more evenly, or try using other carrier methods, such as a wheelie bag. Evaluate your sleep position and how you are performing your work tasks. Consult with an occupational therapist for adaptive means to remove stress from your shoulder; likewise, if you are active in sports, work with a trainer or technique coach to ensure you are not overstressing or damaging your shoulder.
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can reduce the swelling and inflammation that causes pain and stress on the shoulder. These medications should not be taken over long periods of time; if pain persists, see your doctor.
Ice is a highly effective means for pain relief and to reduce inflammation. Whether you prefer ice packs or an ice wrap, never apply ice directly to the skin.
When the injury is minor, physical therapy can help strengthen a weak rotator cuff and help regain regular shoulder functionality. Physical therapy may include any combination of treatments – to include exercise, ultrasound, and/or electric stimulation.
Pain management techniques – particularly cortisone injections – can be highly effective at limiting inflammation, however, they are by no means a cure to the injury itself.
Traditional Shoulder Replacement Surgery
When any of these non-surgical options have proven ineffective at treating your , your doctor may recommend surgical options. Based on imagery, your orthopedist may recommend a joint replacement procedure. The most common type is Traditional Shoulder Replacement, which involves replacing the damaged bone and cartilage with a prosthetic joint. During this procedure, the surgeon will remove the shoulder’s humeral head and replace it with a metal ball attached to a stem, then resurface the socket by removing damaged bone scraps, then cap with a prosthetic socket. Once you are recovered, you should experience pain-free full range of motion.
Reverse Shoulder Replacement
In some cases, the damage to the rotator cuff is so extensive that traditional shoulder replacement surgery may not be an option. This is especially true with rotator cuff arthropathy – when a significant rotator cuff defect is exacerbated by the effects of arthritis. Because of the severity of these coexistent conditions, surgeons will likely recommend reverse total shoulder replacement. This procedure is similar to traditional shoulder replacement surgery, however, there is a reversal in position of the ball and socket, thereby allowing the deltoid muscle to compensate for the otherwise weak rotator cuff while the newly constructed joint serves the function of the original shoulder joint.
Your Joint Replacement Experts in Naples
When other treatments have failed and it’s time to consider joint replacement, the Joint Replacement Institute is here to make that happen. Located in Naples, Florida, the Joint Replacement Institute has served people from across the country and around the world who are seeking relief from chronic joint pain and acute joint damage. Our surgical team is world renown, and brings together decades of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of even the most complex problems. If you have exhausted all other options for your rotator cuff or other joint, it’s time to call the Joint Replacement Institute at (239) 261-2663 or request an appointment. Besides joint replacement, we also offer treatment for foot and ankle injuries, sports medicine, and pain management, as well as full-body MRI and digital X-ray. No one should have to endure joint pain. Call us today for a pain-free tomorrow.