Shoulder Pain? What an Orthopedic Doctor Can Do for You!


An orthopedic surgeon is a specialist using surgical and nonsurgical means to treat various forms of musculoskeletal trauma, injuries, including sports injuries, and various other diseases. Thus, for patients with various conditions involving shoulder and knee pain, an orthopedic surgeon, preferably one specializing in the shoulder, is the best hope for successfully dealing with the condition or pain.

The shoulder doctor will use various means to first diagnose the problem, including medical history, physical examinations, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and diagnostic testing. Some of the conditions perfect for diagnosis and possible treatment by a dedicated shoulder doctor include:

  1. Dislocated shoulder,
  2. Separated shoulder,
  3. Sternoclavicular separation,
  4. Various rotator cuff problems, such as tendinitis, bursitis, impingement syndrome and the well-known “rotator cuff tear,”
  5. The so-called SLAP tear, occurring when shoulder cartilage delaminates from the glenoid, resulting in shoulder instability,
  6. Frozen shoulder,
  7. Shoulder arthritis,
  8. Wear of the AC joint (often caused by arthritis or other stresses).

Patients will often delay seeking help for shoulder pain problems thinking that the pain is temporary and will go away in time. This type of thinking is not recommended as the doctor can often find solutions, many of which will not involve surgery, that will allow the joint to operate pain-free for many years to come. In many of the ‘wear and tear’ problems associated with a shoulder – important whether one is an Olympic class athlete or an older individual wanting to maintain personal autonomy – the shoulder doctor can find ways to prevent further degeneration of the shoulder joint.

Patients should view the relationship with their doctor as a partnership in which the doctor has the same goal, to lower levels of pain, allow for better function, and when possible, complete amelioration of the condition. A doctor will carefully consider all options before surgery, which, in the 21st century, is not only very safe, but very effective. Orthopedic surgeons not only undergo rigorous training, they must also keep up with the latest developments through continuing education, and in many cases, develop their own specialized techniques for optimum benefit.

Leaving chronic shoulder pain to ordinary pain killers or other at-home methods can prove detrimental to the long-term health of the shoulder, and can result in permanent damage. Thus, consider a consultation with a shoulder doctor if you or someone you know is suffering from shoulder pain for any length of time. It’s a smart move and you may be surprised with the diagnosis.