The shoulder is a ball and socket joint that allows a wide range of movement in the upper arm and is considered the most flexible joint in the body.
The elbow is a hinge joint that connects the upper arm to the forearm and allows a flexible movement in the lower part of the arm.
These two joints are connected to their surrounding muscles and bones with ligaments, tendons, and cartilages, and they play a vital role in performing most of our daily activities. Frequent movement and strain on these joints make them susceptible to illness and injuries, which can lead to pain or numbness in the shoulder and elbow area and limit your arm’s movement and functionality.
Our orthopedic specialists at Novomed can help you determine the cause of your shoulder and elbow pain using advanced diagnostic techniques and develop a treatment plan to help relieve the pain and restore the joint proper movement and function. Based on your condition, non-surgical or surgical treatment can be tailored to help you restore full function and resume your normal activities as quickly as possible.
What are the causes of shoulder and elbow pain?
The disorders that can lead to shoulder and elbow pain include the following:
- Bursitis: A painful disorder caused by inflammation of the tiny fluid-filled sacs that protect the bones, tendons, and muscles of the shoulder and elbow.
- Arthritis: A condition of cartilage deterioration or loss that causes friction and pain in the joints. This condition can result in long-term damage that can be avoided if diagnosed early.
- Shoulder or Elbow Arthrosis: Damage to the cartilage in the shoulder or elbow joint, resulting in rubbing between the bones and pain or loss of movement.
- Tennis Elbow: Tension or heavy use can induce inflammation and soreness in the tendons that link the forearm muscles.
- Golfer’s Elbow: Inflammation of the joint between the bone and the tendon in the elbow caused by repetitive movements and can result in reduced mobility and pain.
- Tendonitis: Overuse produces inflammation and irritation of the shoulder or elbow tendon, causing pain and stiffness in the tendons and nerves.
- Rotator Cuff Injuries: The muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint can be sprained or ripped, causing intense pain and further injury to the shoulder joint if left untreated.
- Shoulder or elbow dislocation: An injury in which the bone in the joint becomes displaced and moves out of place.
Overuse of the shoulder or elbow joint: Pain and inflammation induced by sports and caused by joint wear, which can produce intense discomfort.
During your consultation, our orthopedic surgeon will perform some tests to identify your shoulder or elbow condition so that you can receive the appropriate treatment.
What are the non-surgical treatment options for shoulder and elbow pain?
The R.I.C.E. approach, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, should be followed during the first two weeks of treatment at home because it helps relieve most shoulder and elbow pain. Combining this approach with NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) can help reduce swelling and pain.
If there is no improvement with these treatment options, a thorough examination to discover the cause is recommended, and patients should consult a physician for a proper diagnosis and treatment alternatives. They can assist you in determining the exact source of your discomfort.
To relieve pain in the affected area, the doctor may recommend interventional treatments such as physical therapy, corticosteroid injections in the joints, or other types of injections.
What are the surgical treatment options for shoulder and elbow pain?
If non-surgical treatments failed and pain or immobility persisted, surgery may be required. The following are some of the most common surgical procedures used to treat shoulder and elbow injuries:
- Arthroscopy: Our orthopedic surgeon removes loose or broken cartilage and bone pieces to reduce pain and restore movement using surgical instruments and a special camera inserted through small incisions
- Rotator Cuff Surgery – This procedure is done arthroscopically through small incisions in the shoulder to correct instability caused by rotator cuff tendons tears.
- Shoulder or Elbow Replacement — If the joint is damaged beyond arthroscopic treatment, a full or partial shoulder or elbow replacement may be required.
- The Copeland Shoulder – This procedure maintains the bone in the shoulder and offers a secure fit for the new bone to grow into the implant for patients who are in the early stages of arthritis.
What to expect after treatment for shoulders and elbows?
Recovery after surgical procedures can take up to eight weeks, depending on your condition and treatment. It may take several months to regain full strength and movement, although pain should reduce soon following surgery.
To make a full recovery after surgery, you will need to avoid any activity that puts pressure on your sore joints, including lifting heavy objects that strain your shoulders and elbows.
Scheduling regular sessions with a physical therapist is also an effective way to promote a smooth recovery; they can give you tips and special exercises to improve the movement and function of the joints.
Schedule your appointment at Novomed today!
If you are experiencing shoulder or elbow pain, make an appointment with one of our highly qualified orthopedic specialists in Dubai or Al Ain to learn more about your condition and treatment options.
Book your consultation today by calling toll-free 8006686, filling out the booking form or clicking the live chat icon at the bottom of the screen.