Treatment of Shoulder Pain - Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr. Patrick Chin, MD, MBA, FRCSC, Orthopaedic Surgeon, discusses treatment of shoulder pain.

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Dr. Patrick Chin, MD, MBA, FRCSC, Orthopaedic Surgeon, discusses treatment of shoulder pain.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Patrick Chin, MD, MBA, FRCSC, Orthopaedic Surgeon

Duration: 2 minutes, 47 seconds    

Well the usual treatment for any arthritic joint really is non-surgical first.  

The patient should exhaust all non-operative type options such as medications, anti-inflammatory medication, analgesic medication, physiotherapy to keep the joints supple, stretching to keep the joints supple.  

A lot of naturopathic type options are available, too. There are other joint injection options, either steroid or synthetic viscous supplementation.

If the non-operative options fail, then the patient is looking at surgical options. The surgical options obviously would be, depending on the state of disease, one could offer the option of an arthroscopic cleanup of the joint, a debridement of the joint, in early stage disease.  

In later stage disease then the option would be a joint replacement. In any joint replacement the option would be to either replace part of the joint that pretty much means a partial joint replacement versus replacing the entire joint.

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint so you replace the ball and you replace the socket, just like the hip actually. You will have a smooth metal ball or hemisphere, actually, with a stemmed implant followed by on the socket side is usually a high molecular weight polyethylene material – plastic material – for the socket side.  

And it could be either grouted in or inserted in what we call a press fit fashion where the bone can actually grow into the material.

The long-term survival rates of shoulder replacement surgery has actually improved over the last two or three decades. You could expect survivability of implants lasting up to 10 to 15 years now to maintain the patient satisfaction of between 80 and 90 percent.

At the end of the day the goal of surgery is to relieve a patient’s pain in the shoulder.  Obviously if the pain is holding back the patient from functioning well, then obviously the function can also improve.

But most patients probably won’t regain the full motion in the shoulder from a shoulder replacement operation, but they sure would have good pain relief and pretty good strength.

Presenter: Dr. Patrick Chin, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Orthopaedic Surgeon

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