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At OAK Orthopedics, the region's most preferred orthopedic practice, our doctors have the knowledge and experience to treat a variety of shoulder conditions and injuries.

Shoulder pain is always frustrating, and at times, it can be almost crippling. Even a minor shoulder injury can impair your mobility and prevent you from carrying out important everyday tasks. And, if left untreated, those simple shoulder injuries can grow more severe.

Fortunately, full rehabilitation is possible when you seek proper medical treatment. A shoulder doctor will be able to evaluate your joint, diagnose the problem, and offer the right kind of treatment. The ultimate goal is getting your shoulder back to its full range of mobility without any pain or discomfort and getting you back to normal life.

But how can you tell when it's time to visit a surgeon about your shoulder problem? Some signs that you need an expert medical opinion include:

  • Shoulder joint is swollen and difficult to move
  • Shoulder pain is more pronounced when you make certain movements
  • Shoulder pain prevents you from sleeping at night
  • The pain has traveled into your elbow
  • The pain worsens even after trying home remedies
  • Your shoulder pain persists for more than a week
  • Your shoulder problem prevents you from carrying out everyday tasks at home, work, or school

A shoulder specialist treats patients for a wide range of conditions. Some shoulder injuries are the result of accidents, while others come from playing sports or from exercising. Additionally, there are many chronic conditions that can cause shoulder pain and limit your mobility. Some of the most common sources of shoulder pain include:

  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Clavicle problems, including fractures
  • Dislocation
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Injury to the tendon
  • Rotator cuff tear or other issues involving the rotator cuff
  • Shoulder instability
  • Tendonitis

When you visit a specialty-trained shoulder doctor, the first thing you can expect is a thorough physical examination. In some cases, this might involve X-rays or other forms of imaging. This allows your shoulder doctor to arrive at the correct diagnosis and then recommend the best form of treatment.

In some cases, nonsurgical treatment may be a possibility as opposed to shoulder surgery. Nonoperative treatments can include heat, ice, or compression therapy; the use of pain medication or anti-inflammatory drugs; stretching; injections; and physical therapy. Your doctor will likely recommend a nonsurgical treatment before performing a surgical procedure.

As for surgery, there are various options available, depending on the specific diagnosis you receive. Your orthopedic surgeon will be able to explain the surgical procedures available to you, which include total shoulder replacement, rotator cuff repair, reverse shoulder replacement, arthroscopy, and other forms of orthopedic shoulder surgery.

As with any surgery, you can expect some recovery time. Remember that the shoulder is the biggest ball-and-socket joint in the human body, and it involves cartilage, the arm bone, the shoulder blade, the rotator cuff, and more. It's important to allow your body to rest, which can sometimes take a few weeks. During the recovery process, your surgeon will be able to provide you with pain medication to minimize your swelling and discomfort. Physical therapy will likely be recommended as well, helping to ensure a smooth and complete healing process. Often, physical therapy will begin the day after your surgery and may continue for a few weeks or even months.

But what about injury prevention? Obviously, patients want to do anything they can do to prevent the need for shoulder surgery in the first place. If you're an athlete, make sure you stretch properly before or after any robust physical activity. This can minimize the risk of a sports-related issue. In the event of a minor shoulder injury, make sure to apply plenty of ice and compression to minimize the damage done.

Should you deal with something like shoulder tendonitis or a chronic shoulder condition, however, we encourage you to seek the medical care you need. Our doctors are all experts in orthopedic care, and they can provide the prompt diagnosis and complete treatment plan you need to feel like yourself again. No matter the cause of your shoulder problem, it's important to seek proper orthopedic care sooner rather than later, ensuring you have the issue resolved before it worsens.

Specializing in What Moves You at OAK Orthopedics

At OAK Orthopedics, our world-class team of orthopedic experts is devoted to providing customized treatment plans focused on each patient's individual needs and goals.

Our specialty-trained shoulder doctors, Dr. Wesley Choy, Dr. Alexander Michalow, Dr. Michael Corcoran, Dr. Rajeev Puri, Dr. Eddie Jones Jr.​Dr. Kermit Muhammad, and Dr. Tom Antkowiak, have extensive experience in treating a variety of shoulder conditions and injuries. Nonsurgical methods will always be recommended first before considering surgery. However, there are situations in which conservative treatments will not provide adequate relief, and surgery is the best option to fix the problem. Our shoulder surgeons are skilled in performing many surgical procedures for the shoulder and utilize state-of-the-art technology in doing so. Rest assured that when you see one of our shoulder specialists, you're in the care of the region's most preferred orthopedic providers. 

If you have shoulder pain that you'd like to have evaluated, we encourage you to contact our team of orthopedic doctors today at one of our three locations in BradleyFrankfort, or Watseka. Call (815) 928-8050 for our Bradley or Watseka office or (815) 469-3452 for our Frankfort office, or request an appointment online with one of our experienced shoulder surgeons.