If you have shoulder pain, stiffness, or instability that is interfering with your daily activities and causing difficulty with sports, or if a recent shoulder injury is not recovering well, you may wish to consult an orthopaedic surgeon.
It is usually helpful to write down your symptoms and make a list of any treatment and investigations that you may have undergone so far, including medications and X-rays.
On the day of the appointment, your doctor will take a full medical history and is likely to ask a number of specific questions regarding your shoulder.
This may include details such as:
- Your initial injury, if any
- How long you have been having shoulder pain
- How the pain interferes with your activities
- If you have previously had shoulder pain or dislocations before
Your doctor will then perform an examination of your shoulder and may also order additional investigations including X-rays, and in some cases, a magnetic resonance imaging appointment or MRI.
Blood tests may also be required for some patients.
After a diagnosis has been established, your doctor will then discuss treatment options. This commonly includes a course of physiotherapy, medications, and in some cases, surgery may be discussed to reconstruct your shoulder joint. Keyhole surgery may be recommended for sports injuries as it is minimally invasive and recovery is faster.
Sometimes, your surgeon may also prescribe an injection into your shoulder to assist in diagnosis or to provide immediate relief. This is a local injection done in the clinic which contains a local anaesthetic together with a low dose of a steroid to provide pain relief and to reduce inflammation in the shoulder joint
The clinical outcome after reconstructive shoulder surgeries to correct sport injuries is generally very good. In many cases, the surgery performed is minimally invasive and designed to promote a rapid recovery and a return to sports. However, individual outcomes will vary with the type and severity of injury sustained and, your surgeon should discuss this with you when making preparations for surgery.