Most patients with shoulder pain due to an injury or arthritis may not require surgery. They can usually be treated by a combination of non-surgical treatments such as medications, physical therapy, and shoulder injections. But in some cases, not proceeding with early surgical intervention can result in bigger issues down the line.
Worsening of Rotator Cuff Tears: With a rotator cuff tear, there is an approximately 50% chance that the tear will progress within a 2-year period. This can result in significant activity limitations that might be acceptable for a 65 or 70-year-old patient, but not for an active 40 or 50-year-old individual. There is also the possibility of a partial rotator cuff tear progressing to a complete rotator cuff tear with complete detachment from its bone attachment if not surgically repaired.
Muscle Atrophy: Limiting shoulder range of motion due to shoulder pain that is not improved with conservative treatments can result in atrophy of the shoulder muscles. The wasting away of the surrounding musculature that supports the joints will lead to loss of joint function.
Degenerative Joint Changes: Over time an untreated shoulder injury can lead to joint space narrowing resulting in the formation of bone spurs and impingement of bursae and tendons in the area.
Poor Surgical Prognosis: Seeking timely surgical treatment sooner rather than later before degenerative changes occur within the joint may mean the surgery can be performed minimally invasively using arthroscopic techniques rather than more invasive modalities such as open surgery or total joint replacement. The chances of full return to function are also higher with early surgical intervention.
If your shoulder condition does not seem to be getting better despite conservative therapy, call (541) 608-2595 to book an appointment Dr. Denard for a telehealth consult or inpatient visit to discuss your treatment options.
Dr. Patrick Denard has been voted one of the top 20 Shoulder Surgeons in North America and is the most widely published shoulder specialist in Oregon. Dr. Denard is committed to providing the highest level of Orthopedic care to his patients. Dr. Denard has advanced arthroscopy training and is able to perform the vast majority of shoulder procedures in a minimally invasive fashion, including all types of rotator cuff repairs and in-stability repair. These techniques allow him to repair tears that some consider "irreparable." Providing every patient with advanced medicine and compassionate care each and every time.