We are always at a risk of injuries no matter what we do for our daily activities. Shoulder and elbow injuries are one of the most common causes of chronic pain. People who play specific sports such as tennis are at higher risks than the rest who participate in less physical activities. Some people will experience mild pain that goes away after taking medications, while others will require more advanced treatment options. Book an appointment with an orthopedic shoulder & elbow surgeon in La, Jolla to discuss your condition. Here is general information about these injuries.
Symptoms of shoulder and elbow injuries
The most common symptom of these injuries is pain. People seek help from orthopedic experts when they have pain in or around the shoulder area. It could also be felt down to the arm. Other common symptoms include:
- Shoulder or elbow stiffness: An individual will experience stiffness due to a couple of reasons. This could either be arthritis or a frozen shoulder. Stiffness affects a patient’s range of motion when lifting objects. It could be caused by either a fall or any other physical injury.
- Shoulder weakness: Patients with shoulder weakness find it challenging to perform overhead activities or lift arms. Weakness could be caused by impingement or a rotator cuff tear that surrounds the socket ball of the shoulder joint. Untreated conditions may make you experience permanent shoulder weakness.
- Swelling: People who play sports such as golf and tennis are likely to suffer from elbow injuries. The most common ones are the golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow. Patients report swelling with or without pain. Swelling may be caused by infection or acute tendonitis. You should seek immediate medical treatment if you experience acute pain because it could be a sign of a severe condition.
- Shoulder instability: Sometimes, shoulder joints dislocate partly or completely, which causes pain. Additionally, a second dislocation is likely to occur if you have suffered another dislocation in the past. This is called shoulder instability. Patients feel an uncomfortable sensation as if the shoulder might slide out.
Treatment of a shoulder and elbow injury
Doctors treat conditions depending on their type and severity. They first perform a thorough examination using x-rays and nerve conditions for proper diagnosis. The standard treatment options include:
- Non-operative treatment: This includes rest, immobilization using a brace, injections to relieve inflammation, and reparative therapies such as platelet-rich plasma to facilitate healing.
- Reparative treatment options: This form of treatment includes surgical procedures such as augment surgery to facilitate healing and restore functionality. Doctors opt to use surgery in cases where other less invasive treatments fail to relieve your discomfort. For the most severe cases, they may decide to do an elbow replacement surgery.
Shoulder and elbow injuries may be a nuisance to live with, especially when the pain prevents you from performing daily activities. You should seek medical treatment for further evaluation if you experience one or more symptoms discussed above. Book an appointment with Upper Extremity Specialists for professional treatment.