Have you been experiencing pain in your shoulder or elbow? Has your physician told you that you need to see a specialist?

A shoulder or elbow injury can cause symptoms that range from minor to excruciating pain. The level of pain depends on what the specific cause of the issue is. Regardless of the level of pain, a visit to a physician is highly recommended.

We reached out to Reza Omid, MD, assistant professor of clinical orthopaedic surgery from the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine, to get the details of what you will experience when you visit your orthopaedic surgeon. Dr. Omid specializes in the treatment of disorders of the shoulder and elbow at USC Orthopaedic Surgery.

Evaluation

When you come in, your evaluation will include a comprehensive medical history of your problem, a complete physical exam and appropriate plain x-rays.

Diagnosis

Rotator Cuff Tear

Reza Omid, MD

Reza Omid, MD

If you are experiencing shoulder pain that gets worse with overhead activity, then you may have a rotator cuff tear. This problem can be confirmed with a complete history, a thorough physical exam and a MRI of the shoulder. Initial treatment usually includes anti-inflammatory medications, ice and physical therapy. Some patients will respond well to a cortisone injection in the shoulder. If conservative measures fail, arthroscopic surgery is often necessary to relieve the pain in the shoulder.

Joint replacements

If you are experiencing significant shoulder pain that does not respond to conservative treatment, a joint replacement may be recommended. This is a surgery that allows a person to live a life that they could not live before because of the severity of the pain. It allows mobility in an arthritic joint where patients once experienced constant pain.

Treatment

Depending on the root cause of the problem, the level of treatment varies. This could range anywhere from medication to physical therapy, arthroscopic surgery or a full joint replacement. Make sure you ask your orthopaedic specialists what your options are.

USC orthopaedic surgeons use the latest technology and their abundant experience to accurately diagnose your problem and to develop the best treatment plan for you. If you suffer from a shoulder or elbow injury, make an appointment with an orthopaedic specialist. To learn more about the USC Orthopaedic Surgery of Keck Medicine of USC, visit http://ortho.keckmedicine.org.

To schedule an appointment, call (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or visit http://ortho.keckmedicine.org/patient-information/request-an-appointment/.