The trend in orthopaedics is for a specialist to exhaust all non-surgical treatment options in advance of surgery. That's because the more invasive (surgical) the treatment option, the more tissue is disrupted and there is more potential for more complications than with physical therapy or an injection.
So if you are impatient and wanting a quick fix to your problem, keep in mind that the specialists in orthopedics, sports medicine and spine will first look at if there are non-surgical options for you to try first before surgery.
With sports medicine problems involving strain, sprain or overuse syndrome — non-surgical treatment options like anti-inflammatory medication, injections into a joint space or specialized therapy, can many times provide relief of symptoms without the need for surgery.
Fortunately, most common shoulder problems can be managed successfully without surgery.
The orthopaedic specialists at Lakelands Orthopedics will order x-rays to help diagnose your condition. While relatively rare, arthritis is best seen with x-rays. The orthopaedic specialist may order an MRI to see if there is a problem that requires surgery.
The specialist may recommend a series of exercises to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder. A skilled physical therapist can help educate you in this program and make sure the exercises are done properly. This can restore stability and balance to the shoulder and provide relief from pain and instability.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (i.e. ibuprofen) can help with the pain and inflammation. Steroid injections can be very effective at rapidly reducing inflammation and pain, making the rehab process easier.