Shoulder

Shoulder Specialist
Whether you’ve got a frozen shoulder or you just overworked your shoulder at the gym, orthopedic treatment can help you regain function for work, sports, and all your other daily activities. At Greater Austin Orthopaedics, with offices in South Austin, Oak Hill, North Austin, and Lockhart, Texas, the highly skilled orthopedic shoulder surgeons are dedicated to providing you with the best quality of care through both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options. To get started, call us today or schedule a consultation online.

Shoulder Q & A

What causes shoulder problems?

Many shoulder problems are caused by the degeneration or breakdown of soft tissues in the shoulder area. The breakdown can be due to age or can be accelerated by performing manual labor or playing sports.

What should I do for a shoulder injury?  

Shoulder injuries are often first treated with the RICE method:

Rest: Don’t use your shoulder for 48 hours.

Ice: Put an ice pack on the injured area for 20 minutes, 4-8 times per day.

Compression: Apply even pressure on the painful area to help reduce the swelling. A wrap or bandage can help hold the shoulder in place.

Elevation: Keep the injured area above the level of your heart. A pillow under the shoulder can help keep it up.

What are some common shoulder problems?

The doctors at Greater Austin Orthopaedics see patients with a wide variety of shoulder issues, including:

  • Rotator cuff tears or rotator cuff arthropy (joint disease)
  • Bursitis or tendonitis
  • Dislocations or instability
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Degenerative joint disease (DJD)
  • Avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue)
  • Impingement syndrome (swimmer’s shoulder)
  • Acromioclavicular (AC) joint separation (shoulder separation) or AC joint arthritis
  • Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
  • Labral Tear

Sometimes treatment can include physical therapy or medication, other times surgery is necessary. Your physician at Greater Austin Orthopaedics will discuss the options available and determine if shoulder surgery is right for you.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that causes gradual erosion of the cartilage surface of the ball and socket shoulder joint. Typically, several other joints in the body can be affected.

Symptoms

  • Symptoms and signs include swelling of the shoulder, warmth, redness, pain, limitation of shoulder motion and function.

Treatment

  • Treatment initially is conservative and can include medications (anti-inflammatory medicines, steroids, etc...) that may be best monitored by a rheumatologist or internist. Injections (steroids), assistive devices, alternative treatments, are other options.

Total Shoulder Replacement

  • Total shoulder replacement is reserved for patients with severe pain that is not improved by conservative treatment. Goal is improvement of pain, improvement of function, and improvement of quality of life.

What kinds of shoulder surgeries are available?

Most shoulder surgeries are performed either as arthroscopy or as open surgical procedures. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique using pencil-thin instruments to access the joint through small incisions in the skin. The surgeon performs the repairs while watching a video feed from inside the body so that he can see the interior of the joint and check the progress.

Open surgery — where the body is opened up to allow the surgeon access to the joint — is the traditional method of surgical shoulder treatment.

Why is shoulder surgery performed?

Your orthopedic shoulder specialist may recommend surgery if your shoulder pain and loss of function and mobility are having a negative impact on your life. Also, if medications or additional therapies aren’t showing any improvement, the doctor may recommend surgery to address the condition.

If you’ve had an injury or have been experiencing pain, weakness, numbness, stiffness, or swelling in your shoulder, call today, or schedule an appointment online with one of our orthopedic shoulder specialists.

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