DAVE WATTS, MD
Minimally invasive shoulder surgery: Are you a candidate?
Shoulder pain can be a huge problem for people who want to stay active and stop dealing with chronic pain. Whether you suffer from arthritis, a rotator cuff tear, or any other condition that makes it painful for you to experience your full range of motion, finding the right Sioux Falls orthopedic surgeons could help minimize the pain of your injury and get you on your feet faster. While shoulder issues can be extremely painful and life-altering, it doesn’t always require a full-on surgical procedure to correct the problem. Unlike other corrective treatments for joint issues, such as those used for knee injuries or sprained ankle treatment, shoulder pain can be minimized by a totally non-invasive procedure. If you’re interested, read on to find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive shoulder surgery.
What Kind of Injury Do You Have?
The best way to tell whether or not you’re a candidate for minimally invasive shoulder surgery is to evaluate your issue. If you’re dealing with nerve problems more than muscle damage, or if your doctor has told you that you only need a smart piece of affected tissue removed from your shoulder, you may be an ideal candidate for the procedure. Some of the injuries that can be helped by minimally invasive surgery include a torn rotator cuff, a bicep tendon tear or strain, a bone spur, a labral tear, or any inflamed tissue resulting from a previous injury or a preexisting condition such as arthritis. In short, if your injury involves a tendon, tissue, or muscle tear in the shoulder area, arthroscopy may help ease the pain and jumpstart the healing process.
Have You Been Treated Before?
One good way to figure out whether or not arthroscopy is right for you is to think about the history of your injury. Is this a new problem, such as a sports-related tear or sudden burst of pain near your shoulder? Have you tried other routes to help with the pain, such as medications, traditional pain relievers, or physical therapy? Is the condition slowly getting worse, and are you worried that not treating your injury is causing it to degenerate? If you’ve tried everything else and you feel like your pain could be better managed, it’s the right time to ask your doctor about minimally invasive options for surgery.
How Bad is the Pain?
As with any injury, your pain serves as an adequate measure of your condition. If you’re suffering chronic pain that simply doesn’t seem to be letting up no matter what you do, a simply minimally-invasive process could be able to remove the damaged tissue, bone, or nerve endings that are causing the problem. If the pain started out as a minor issue and has gradually gotten worse, the time to act is now. If you’re dealing with a degenerative issue such as arthritis, the pain will only get worse the longer you ignore it. If you see your doctor right away, you can have a conversation about what the best next step is for your condition. Waiting too long won’t just allow the pain to increase, it will decrease the number of options that you have for treatment.