A shoulder specialist is an orthopaedic doctor who diagnoses and treats a full range of shoulder injuries and conditions. These specialty-trained doctors often care for patients who have a fractured clavicle (collarbone), a dislocation, or a rotator cuff tear. Many shoulder injuries happen because the shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint with a wide range of motion, which makes it prone to different types of injuries, including rotator cuff injuries.
A rotator cuff tear is one of the more common types of shoulder injuries and involves the tendons and muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff tears are particularly common in sports, especially among baseball and tennis players who place significant strain on their shoulders. However, they can happen to anyone, not just athletes.
Depending on the severity of the injury, a shoulder doctor may recommend a nonsurgical treatment option, such as icing the area, taking anti-inflammatory medication, or getting a cortisone injection, to reduce the shoulder pain. If shoulder surgery is required, there are different procedures a shoulder surgeon may use, such as arthroscopic surgery, rotator cuff repair, or shoulder reconstruction.
When surgery is required, it can sometimes be performed using a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery involves the surgeon inserting tiny instruments, including one with a camera, into small incisions. This allows the surgeon to view and treat the problem without disrupting the surrounding tissue as much.
After a shoulder surgery, such as shoulder replacement or shoulder arthroscopy, there is no guarantee a patient will be completely pain-free; however, most patients experience less pain and gain an overall better quality of life after surgery.
Know When It’s Time to Get Help
If you are experiencing any of the types of shoulder pain described below—especially if you have been experiencing it for more than a few days—schedule an appointment with a shoulder specialist or orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder care.
- Difficulty using the shoulder as well as lifting the elbow
- Muscle weakness
- Popping or grinding, bone-on-bone sensations
- Shoulder instability
- Shoulder pain in addition to elbow pain
- Unable to sleep on the side with the affected shoulder
A shoulder doctor may diagnose you with one of the following shoulder conditions or injuries:
- Acromioclavicular separation
- Calcific tendonitis
- Frozen shoulder
- Rotator cuff tear
- Shoulder dislocation
- Shoulder impingement
- Sports-related injury
- Sternoclavicular joint injury
- Tennis elbow
What Can You Expect at Our Shoulder Center?
Our Shoulder Center is designed to provide our shoulder patients with comprehensive education and exceptional care through the vast experience, training, and knowledge of our expert shoulder doctors.
Having dedicated their practices to providing specialized care of the shoulder, our shoulder specialists are committed to offering the latest and most advanced surgical and nonsurgical treatment options, including joint replacement of the shoulder, shoulder reconstruction, and arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. They understand that while orthopaedic surgery is sometimes the best treatment solution for one patient, it is not always the right treatment option for every patient as there may be another nonsurgical option that is more beneficial for that patient.
For instance, sometimes our shoulder doctors are able to prescribe a medication that can improve your condition or recommend physical therapy, which can bring about gradual improvements that can help with shoulder pain management and increase the range of motion in your shoulder joint. Our specialists will work with you to understand your individual needs and recommend the best treatment option for you.
If our shoulder specialists believe that a type of surgery, such as total shoulder replacement, shoulder arthroscopy, or shoulder reconstruction, is the best option for you, they will educate you on the surgical process and explain what your recovery will be like afterward.
Professional Orthopaedic Associates: Get Back to a Life Without Limits
Since 1985, we have been offering excellence in orthopaedic and sports medicine care. Our fellowship-trained and specialty-trained shoulder doctors and surgeons, Dr. Harry Bade, Dr. Christopher Johnson, Dr. Brian Torpey, Dr. Gregg Foos, Dr. David Gentile, Dr. Mark Gesell, Dr. Ryan Plyler, and Dr. Allen Nicholson, have years of expertise in diagnosing and treating complex shoulder injuries and conditions. Together, they draw from this combined knowledge base to bring the very best to our shoulder patients.
Additionally, our shoulder doctors and surgeons value and are committed to ongoing professional education. Our shoulder specialists attend courses and proactively learn the latest procedures and surgical techniques. They also serve as thought leaders, lecturing and publishing information about orthopaedic treatment and care. Our shoulder surgeons are some of the most highly respected in our region.