Those suffering from chronic and debilitating shoulder pain are not limited to flame throwing baseball pitchers or other world-class athletes. In fact, chronic shoulder pain is common to people from all walks of life.
Jared Mahylis, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in treating shoulders. In fact, he comes to Franciscan Health from the prestigious Cleveland Clinic where he received his fellowship training in shoulder and elbow surgery.
What Are Some Common Causes Of Shoulder Pain?
The most common causes of shoulder pain a surgeon will treat are arthritis, rotator cuff tears, rotator cuff tendonitis, labrum injuries and fractures.
How Is Shoulder Pain Treated?
We try to start with non-operative treatments, which include oral anti-inflammatory pain medications, physical therapy and, finally, injections. Surgery is often the next step but will depend on what is causing the shoulder pain.
What If These Treatments Fail To Bring Relief?
We will often repair rotator cuff tears, labral and ligament injuries arthroscopically. This minimally-invasive approach has revolutionized how joint damage is repaired. Patients benefit from faster recovery times, shorter hospital stays and less scarring. In cases of severe or advanced arthritis we will usually perform arthroplasty, also known as shoulder replacement surgery.
What Are Some Important Advances In Shoulder Surgery?
Most commonly a CT scan, also known as a CAT scan, is performed which allows the surgeons to precisely examine the shoulder’s architecture. Using certain software programs, we can create a three-dimensional representation of each patient’s shoulder. This allows us to see the intricacies of their anatomy including bone loss and deformity, which gives us the ability to plan a patient’s replacement procedure in a way that will better fit their unique anatomy.
I utilize the 3-D CT images to plan out my patients’ procedures well before entering the operating room, but I can also bring the 3-D plans into surgery with me. That enables me to see the most precise detail and compare it to what I’m looking at during surgery. This ensures I place each implant exactly where that replacement part needs to go, and be sure I’m putting it in the perfect position to fit their anatomy.
Using the 3-D CT scan is my standard of care for replacement surgery patients unless there’s a reason why they can’t have a CT scan.
Is Shoulder Replacement Surgery On The Rise?
The number of people who develop arthritis in their shoulder and have replacement surgery is rising, due in part to the fact that people are living longer. It is also because our technology has improved. For example, in the past a replacement would not provide long-lasting benefit for people who had shoulder arthritis and a rotator cuff tear. Reverse total shoulder replacement has been proven to be very reliable in not only restoring function but eliminating pain.