Dr. Jordan Walters with TOC recently appeared on The Greg Tish Show during the TOC OrthoMinute segment to talk about common shoulder injuries and what to do about them.
The rotator cuff, which Dr. Walters described as “just a set of four muscles around the shoulder underneath that big deltoid muscle,” will experience normal wear and tear over time that can result in tendonitis with the chance of gradually getting worse.
And for most people, the slight pain that naturally arises over time isn’t enough to come to see a doctor. Usually, some anti-inflammatory medicine will suffice. Dr. Walters said that when the pain keeps you up at night or you start to feel that “toothache” pain, it’s a good idea to seek treatment.
Except for major car accidents or other high-level traumas, Dr. Walters said, “a shot or therapy, and kind of modifying your activities, works great for three-quarters of folks.” If that doesn’t solve the issue, then an MRI might be necessary to see how they can fix it.
And if the shoulder needs a bigger fix, the surgeries available have become much easier for patients.
Dr. Walters said, “it used to be a major open surgery where we’re cutting that shoulder wide open. Now we can do it through tiny poke holes and arthroscopic surgery and get better visualization and outcome.”
Recovery is still a months-long process for some. Dr. Walters assured us that even though “you’re not going to be feeling like Wonder Woman or Superman the next day…we’ve got the process in place to hopefully get folks where they want to be.”
And the decision to get treatment or go through surgery and recovery all has to do with what the patient wants to do in their life. Dr. Walters said, “if something is a minor nuisance and you can do the things you want to do, there may not be a reason to have to do surgery or something like that.”
It’s essential, however, to start the conversation with your doctor so you can have an accurate assessment. Sometimes people are apprehensive about coming in, and the pain worsens.
But, as Dr. Walters said, “sometimes the worst case scenario ends up being that we’ve got a great solution to this, and you don’t have to be like this forever.”
Dr. Jordan D. Walters joined TOC in September 2020 and specializes in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. In his free time, Dr. Walters enjoys the game of tennis, running, snow skiing, and playing guitar. He is in practice at our Capital Medical Medical Clinic.
TOC – Experts in Orthopedic Care serving North Florida and South Georgia with eight locations. TeamTOC.com.
Many shoulder pain just requires time, TIME I said, and structured exercise program, self-guided or under the instructions of a physical therapist which was not mentioned.
Studies show that time and an exercise program is as effective as surgery or better.
Don’t feed the medical system.