Sports medicine shoulder injuries are typically soft tissue injuries that I can treat through minimally invasive techniques. With advancements in arthroscopy, we are able to repair sports medicine shoulder injuries much easier than we once were.
Rotator Cuff Tears
Rotator cuff tears are one of the most common shoulder injuries I see in the clinic. It’s a very common injury that a lot of people deal with.
Typically the tears people suffer from aren’t caused by a traumatic injury. Instead, it’s usually just wear and tear over time. Activity over time weakens the tendon causing tears to develop.
Problems with the rotator cuff can be a significant pain generator in the shoulder.
I see and treat a lot of shoulder instability. Typically shoulder instability includes shoulder dislocations, which damage the bony architecture of the joint as well as the soft tissues responsible for joint stability.
When To See A Doctor for Sports Medicine Shoulder Injuries
So how can you know when it is time to see a doctor about your sports medicine should injuries?
Some people come to see me when the injury is fresh, and others come to see me because they are dealing with the long term effects that a prior sports injury has taken on their shoulder.
Because sports injuries tend to be more traumatic in nature, I recommend early evaluation and diagnosis. This helps prevent a delay of treatment and long term complications associated with undiagnosed injuries.
For those who sustained a sports injury when they were younger and are now having trouble, I would advise them to seek care if the following occurs:
Does pain or discomfort from the injury wake you up at night?
Are you able to perform your usual hobbies and work activities without pain?
If you answer yes to either of those questions, it’s a pretty good indication that it is time to have things looked at by a shoulder specialist.
Time-Sensitive Sports Medicine Shoulder Injuries
An acute traumatic rotator cuff tear is time-sensitive. I try to ensure these are taken care of within a month or two of the time of injury, if possible, to ensure the best outcome.
Knowing you have an acute traumatic rotator cuff tear can be a little more challenging to detect. These can often happen as a result of a fall, lifting weights, or playing sports. Sometimes patients report feeling a pop when the injury occurred.
If you suspect you may have one of these injuries, it’s best to schedule an appointment quickly so the appropriate imaging can be obtained and a diagnosis made.