Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


I have arthritis in my left shoulder. It hurts constantly, but I can use it for most things. How can you tell when it’s time for a shoulder replacement?


The first place to start is with a medical exam. An orthopedic doctor is the specialist to see for this kind of problem. In some cases, medications and exercise may be all that’s needed. Muscle weakness can cause pain. A good rehab program can reduce pain, improve motion, and increase strength. Sometimes, surgery to repair a torn tendon or muscle is advised. Many patients with shoulder pain have undiagnosed soft tissue damage. This could have happened years ago after a fall or other injury. A total joint replacement isn’t always the first answer to shoulder problems. Joaquin Sanchez-Sotelo, Md, PhD, et al. Instability After Shoulder Arthroplasty: Results of Surgical Treatment. In Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. April 2003. Vol. 85-A. No. 4. Pp. 622-631.

*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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