The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body, it allows you to move your arm in various positions. Over time some people can experience pain and stiffness in their shoulder due to arthritis or injury.
Shoulder pain is extremely common. Take note of where you feel pain in your shoulder and when you are experiencing it. This information will help your doctor diagnose your shoulder injury/condition.
Constant pain can correlate with a shoulder condition, such as frozen shoulder, a condition that limits how much your joint will move because tissue has built up in the joint. Other injuries, such as a shoulder joint tear can injure the cartilage that surrounds the shoulder joint. For example, a rotator cuff tear can be painful while just performing certain activities that require lifting your arm.
While some shoulder injuries/conditions are less serious than others and do not require invasive treatment, it’s important to assess the severity of your symptoms. Common signs and symptoms that could indicate you need surgery are:
- Pain that doesn’t improve after nonsurgical, or conservative, treatments including ice, heat, pain medicine, injections, physical therapy or activity modification
- Symptoms that have lasted at least six months
- Significant weakness and loss of function in the shoulder
- A shoulder tear caused by an injury that occurred suddenly during an activity
- A large shoulder tear greater than 3 cm
- Shoulder pain than occurs at night or while resting
- Inability to raise the arm
- Swelling or significant bruising around the joint or arm
- Signs of infection, including fever, redness and warmth
While the idea of surgery can be scary, there are many advancements in technology that have improved shoulder surgery outcomes and improve quality of life. Common shoulder procedures are:
- Rotator cuff repairs: Surgeons identify the damaged part of the rotator cuff and clean and reattach any torn or damaged tendons.
- Shoulder dislocation surgery: Typically dislocations are treated with therapy, however in rare cases, rotator cuff surgery may be considered.
- Shoulder replacement: Typically used to treat advanced osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint, this procedure replaces the ball and socket joint with an artificial ball made of metal and a socket made of plastic.
If shoulder pain is preventing you from getting quality, healthy sleep you should consider a consult with an orthopedic surgeon to learn more about treatment options. For more information on shoulder surgery, call 800-MEMORIAL.