When you suffer a shoulder injury, it will not always need to be treated with surgery. In fact, most shoulder injuries will heal without surgical intervention. However, in cases where surgery is required, the procedure should be carried out as early as possible.
If you want to ensure you get the right type of treatment quickly, it is important to understand the signs that you might need surgery. Here, we will look at some of the most common signs to watch out for which could mean you require shoulder surgery.
#1 Your injury hasn’t improved after six months of treatment
With most types of shoulder injury, non-surgical treatment will first be provided for a period of up to six months. These include rotator cuff disorders and frozen shoulder. In some cases, non-operative treatment is provided for three months before surgery is considered.
If there is no improvement in the pain or mobility of the shoulder and it shows no signs of healing, surgery will be the best option.
#2 Ongoing pain that impacts your ability to carry out daily tasks
Shoulder injuries can be extremely painful. However, if you suffer with ongoing pain that is impacting your ability to perform basic daily tasks, surgery may be required. When you are living in constant pain, it can greatly reduce your quality of life. Nobody should live in consistent pain, so if your shoulder isn’t healing, surgery is a good option to ease the discomfort.
#3 Complete tears within the shoulder
Rotator cuff tears within the shoulder are common and they will require surgery if they are severe. Partial tears can often heal without surgery, but complete tears often require surgical intervention.
Complete tears are most commonly experienced within the rotator cuff. These can be extremely painful and will require a long recovery process.
#4 The shoulder is unstable and pops out of place
You may find that your shoulder dislocates frequently, or it is unstable. This can lead to a number of issues, especially when trying to carry out daily tasks. For patients under the age of 30, surgery is often the best way to build up stability and prevent further dislocations.
There have been several studies carried out recently which have shown surgery on younger patients to treat shoulder instability can prove beneficial for over a decade.
Knowing when to seek help for a shoulder injury
With shoulder pain, patients are often reluctant to seek help. They mistakenly believe that shoulder pain is a common and normal symptom that will heal on its own. While in some cases this may be true, if the pain is constant and it affects your ability to do things, you should seek professional help.
Booking a consultation with a specialist will help you to determine whether or not your shoulder requires surgery to treat it. The surgeon will be able to explain the pros and cons of surgery, alongside the potential risks.
While shoulder injuries do not always need surgery, it is important to seek a diagnosis and treatment plan as soon as you can.