WICHITA FALLS,TX– As boys’ baseball season ends for many young athletes who are looking forward to summer break, the chances of injuring their shoulders still linger on.
In fact, the most common causes of rotator cuff injuries are seen particularly in baseball pitchers, tennis players, rowers and wrestlers. It can also be seen in non-athletes who do the heavy lifting to put food on the table. When the pain becomes too much for Bengay to fix, it’s time to see an expert!
Orthopedic surgeon, Dr Edward Walker says there are several ways shoulder pain can occur, aside from the occasional sports injury.
“There’s also a lot of different inflammatory responses that can cause it so,” said Dr. Walker. “There’s a catch all term that we utilize called rotator cuff impingement syndrome. Really it’s the rotator cuff tears and the patients generally over the age of 50 to 60 years old that we’re looking at potentially a surgical intervention.”
For athletes, surgery is the least viable option, so Dr. Walker says he always offers the most non-invasive options.
“Really the mainstay of treatment is going to be a non-operative intervention, physical therapy, trying to get that muscles around the shoulder nice and strong, particularly the rotator cuff muscles,” Dr. Walker.
They can also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, and if you still you have pain they’ll offer you a corticosteroid injection. Anything more requires an MRI, which is usually followed by an operation.
One of the operations is called a reverse shoulder replacement surgery, where it uses a ball-and-socket joint as well, but the ball is placed on the shoulder blade, and the socket is placed on top of the arm bone. This is the reverse of our normal anatomy, and thus the name “reverse shoulder replacement.” (Verywellhealth.com). New and advanced technology at United Regional is making this procedure easier to perform and recovery time faster.
“We get a preoperative CT of your shoulder and then we use computer to create a preoperative plan for what kind of implants we’re going to utilize,” said Dr. Walker. “Then we can consider either a total shoulder or if they have a bad rotator cuff what we called a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty. We do it through 3 small incisions, patient procedure they’re able to go home the same day. If it’s a total shoulder or reverse total shoulder, those patients stay in the hospital for one night simply for pain control.”
For more on reserve shoulder replacement surgeries at United Regional, click here.