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Will I Need Surgery for My Chronic Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder - Ozark Orthopaedic

Will I Need Surgery for My Chronic Shoulder Pain?

Our shoulders are complex joints. They’re made up of ligaments, tendons, and muscles that enable us to do a wide range of motions. However, it is also this complexity that makes them more susceptible to injury.

Pain can result from the overuse or injury of any of the structures of the shoulder joint. Any persisting pain lasting for more than 6 months is considered chronic. Chronic pain may be felt constantly or only when the shoulders are moved.

Do you need surgery?
The treatment plan including the need for surgery will greatly depend on the underlying cause and the severity of the shoulder pain.

There are different possible causes of chronic shoulder pain, including:

Bursitis
A person with bursitis may experience swelling or tenderness of the shoulder joint, dull aching pain, and worsening of the pain when the joint is pressed.

Surgery is only recommended as the last line of treatment for bursitis. It is only suggested when more conservative measures such as rest, gentle stretches, use of corticosteroids and NSAIDs are not providing enough pain relief.

Tendinitis
Also known as the inflammation of the tendons, tendinitis is a common shoulder injury that results from overuse.

Surgery is only recommended in severe cases. Rehabilitation after shoulder surgery usually takes time and it may take a year to have complete pain relief.

Tendon tear
Rotator cuff tears and bicep tendon tears are the most common tendon tears in the shoulder area.

For tendon tears, surgery is only considered as the last line of treatment if less invasive measures (i.e. ice compress, rest, physical therapy, NSAIDs) are not providing enough pain relief.

Nerve problems
Shoulder pain can occur when a nerve is pressed by nearby or surrounding tissues such as bones, cartilage, or tendons.

Surgery may be suggested for nerve compression if the pain is constantly felt even with physical therapy, medications, and use of cervical collar.

If you’ve been experiencing chronic shoulder pain and wondering if you’re a good candidate for surgery, seeing a specialist is the best thing to do. Our doctors at Ozark Orthopaedics can assess your condition and will determine if surgery is the right course of action for your pain relief.

For appointment requests, you may call us at (479) 521-2752.