Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

I have given up some of the most important things in life because of a stupid shoulder injury. I can't play tennis anymore. I can't sleep at night because of pain and fear the shoulder is going to dislocate again. I'm afraid to go out when it's icy because I might fall on that side. No golf, no dancing, no bowling. It's really the pits. Is there anything out there that could help me?

Answer:

The first thing to do is get an orthopedic evaluation and find out exactly what's wrong so an appropriate plan of care can be established. Many times, a concerted effort at rehab can restore motion and strength needed for balance and favorite activities. It can take quite a while, so you have to go into it knowing that daily exercise is going to be needed. If a conservative approach has already been tried (or you try it and it doesn't achieve the results you want), then surgery may be helpful. The surgeon will do an arthroscopic diagnostic exam to locate the damage and investigate the full extent of your injury. Shoulder stabilization can be achieved using special suture anchors and stitches. The surgeon will clear the area of any pieces of soft tissue or frayed edges around the shoulder joint. If the joint capsule is torn, it can be stitched back together. If the labrum (rim of cartilage around the shoulder socket) is damaged, a labral repair can be done. Following shoulder stabilization surgery, patients are put in a sling to immobilize the joint while the soft tissues are healing. After that, you'll find yourself back in rehab for three to six weeks whle you work on regaining motion, strength, joint proprioception (sense of position), and normal movement patterns. The therapist can also tweak your program to help prepare you for sports and recreational activities of your choosing. So don't throw the towel in just yet. There are almost always options and treatments for problems like this! David Krueger, et al. Subjective and Objective Outcome After Revision Arthroscopic Stabilization for Recurrent Anterior Instability Versus Shouler Stabilization. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. January 2011. Vol. 39. No. 1. Pp. 71-77.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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