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Do I Need to See an Orthopedic Surgeon for My Shoulder?

Your shoulder is a marvel of complex design and function, and it has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the human body. Because it is so flexible and is used throughout the day for just about everything you do, you can easily develop shoulder pain. Indeed, shoulder pain plagues about 9% of adults in the United States.

An orthopedic surgeon doesn’t just perform surgery – on the contrary, these doctors often administer pain-relief injections into painful joints, practice physiatry (physical medicine) to address musculoskeletal concerns, and prescribe physical therapy if that would work to quell your shoulder pain.

Let’s talk about how an orthopedic surgeon can help treat your shoulder problems, and where you can go here in Palm Beach County for world-class orthopedic care.

What Can Cause Shoulder Pain?

If your shoulder hurts when you reach, throw, move your arm, or even just while you’re sleeping, you may have:

  • Osteoarthritis (wear-and-tear arthritis due to worn cartilage, allowing bone-on-bone scraping)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammation due to an autoimmune condition which attacks the synovial lining in the joints, and can spread to other organs)
  • Bursitis (inflammation of one or more fluid-filled cushions in the joint)
  • Frozen shoulder (severe stiffness and immobility of the shoulder – usually temporary)
  • Torn rotator cuff (acute or repetitive-stress injury of the tendons and muscles surrounding the shoulder)

If you don’t see a shoulder surgeon early for an assessment, the underlying condition could become worse. This can result in a permanent debilitating condition.

During your evaluation, your orthopedic surgeon will first assess your shoulder and then provide a diagnosis of the root problem that is causing your shoulder pain or other symptoms. The doctor will then recommend one or more ways to treat your shoulder pain in a way that is most likely to provide relief to your shoulder and enable you to achieve pain-free mobility once again.

Shoulder Symptoms Which Need Medical Attention

See your shoulder surgeon for a full consultation if you have concerning symptoms such as:

  • Pain that does not begin to subside within a couple of weeks
  • Noticeable deformity and/or popping sound in the shoulder after a fall, car accident, or sports mishap (dislocated shoulder)
  • Sudden, severe pain in the shoulder
  • Swelling, bruising, warmth, or numbness in the shoulder area
  • Very limited or no movement of the shoulder
  • Pain in the upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), or collarbone (clavicle)
  • Weakness or tingling in the arm or shoulder

What Your Shoulder Surgeon Can Do

Your orthopedic surgeon will likely order X-rays and other kinds of sophisticated imaging as needed. Be sure to explain to the doctor precisely where your symptoms occur, your level of pain, and what tends to increase or alleviate your discomfort.

Depending on your particular issue, treatment could include:

  • On-site physical therapy and a program of exercises to continue at home
  • Pain-relief prescription medication
  • Stem-cell or PRP injection therapy
  • Shoulder surgery, which may involve total joint replacement, rotator cuff repair, or arthroscopy

Expert Shoulder Surgeon in Palm Beach County

Here at South Palm Orthopedics, Dr. Steve Meadows is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon practicing in Delray Beach who has many years of successful experience treating hand and shoulder pain. For a consultation, contact our office today at 561-496-6622 or request an appointment via our appointment form now. We look forward to helping you restore your shoulder back to full function with no more pain!

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South Palm Orthopedics
4800 Linton Blvd., Building A
Suite 201
Delray Beach, FL 33445
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