Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

Why is it when you hurt your shoulder, the doctor doesn't want to do surgery right away and wants you to wait. I hurt my shoulder in the spring and I'm doing exercises and stuff. It does feel better but it is still painful. My doctor said to wait another few months before going ahead with surgery.

Answer:

It's impossible to tell without knowing your diagnosis and without examining you what would be your best treatment. However, for many shoulder injuries that involve nerves, for example, non-surgical treatment, or conservative treatment, is preferred over surgery. The problem is that conservative treatment is slow and can be discouraging. Usually, there is a time limit for your doctor to tell if the conservative treatment is working. In some cases it's six months, in others it's longer. There are drawbacks and complications associated with surgery so doctors don't like to take that risk unless there is no other option. Jason A. Freedman and James A. Shankwiler. Nerve compression syndromes about the shoulder girdle. In Current Orthopedic Practice. September/October 2008. Vol. 19. No. 5. Pp. 524-529.

*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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