A sudden change in basic shoulder function may mean it’s time to consult an orthopedic specialist for help, says Dr. Harold J. Schock of BayCare Clinic.
Schock, an orthopedic surgeon, and Alyssa S. Schultz, a physician assistant, both with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic, discuss shoulder conditions, specifically problems with the rotator cuff.
The rotator cuff is a network of four muscles that helps lift and rotate the upper arm.
“If something has happened where you’ve had a sudden change in the function in your shoulder … I think that’s a reason to see a doctor sooner rather than later,” Schock says. “I think that if you have shoulder pain that’s waking you up at night from sleep or you’re changing, you’re modifying your activities significantly for a period of two weeks or longer, I think that’s a good reason to see a doctor.”
Traumatic injury to the shoulder also is cause for seeking a specialist’s expertise, Schock says.
Shoulder issues are among the most common health complaints, Schultz says. It’s important to treat them in a timely manner.
“Sometimes by ignoring things we can actually make them worse,” she says. “If we can stop the process before it gets too bad, you’re in a better spot.”
Treatment options for rotator cuff and shoulder health issues often include non-surgical options such as physical therapy and following a healthier lifestyle. Surgical options range from arthroscopic or shoulder stabilization surgery to total shoulder replacement and reverse shoulder replacement.