Chronic Shoulder and Knee Pain Before and After Surgery
Knee and shoulder pain accounts for a significant number of joint issues each year. Because of the joint’s important pivot role, injuries create hurdles for the thousands of suffering Americans. And chronic shoulder pain and chronic knee pain make day-to-day tasks difficult and harm quality of life.
If you’re struggling with chronic should or knee pain, here are some tips to help you identify the source of your pain and what recovery options you have moving forward.
The shoulder is not a single joint. Instead, it contains tendons and muscles that work around two joints. This setup gives humans excellent rotational ability. However, this complex package can make it difficult to identify the source of pain.
Shoulder pain is typically caused by one of four factors.
Arthritis usually stems from wear and tear of the soft tissue at the end of bones. Victims of this condition, called osteoarthritis, may stop moving their arms to reduce pain. Unfortunately, this stagnation leads to atrophy that is worse for the shoulder’s long-term health.
Shoulder fractures are breaks in the clavicle, scapula, or humerus. For older adults, standing height falls are a frequent source of these injuries.
Instability occurs when the end of an upper arm bone is removed from its shoulder socket. Subluxation is when the bone is partially removed, and dislocation is when the bone is entirely removed. In bad cases, the surrounding tendon will tear during a dislocation weakening the area. This weakening can lead to repeated dislocations.
Tendon inflammation is a common side effect of arthritis. Tendon tears are typically the result of a misstep or awkward landing. Partial tears may heal with rest and home care. But complete tears usually require surgery to repair.
Unlike your shoulder, your knee must support the weight of a human being. Unfortunately, the obesity epidemic has placed more pressure on millions of American’s knees. As such, it is crucial to understand the source and treatments for chronic knee pain.
Common knee problems overlap with common shoulder problems. Osteoarthritis and tendonitis are widespread because of the constant friction in the area. Spraining a knee is easier than spraining a shoulder because of the weight keeping a knee locked in place. Cartilage tears are frequent injuries that may require surgery to repair.
Diagnosis and Surgery Prep
Avoid self-diagnosing knee or shoulder pain. Instead, visit a doctor who understands the complexities of each part. Examinations typically consist of movement tests and swelling inspection. If these methods prove inadequate, doctors will use X-rays or MRIs. Depending on the results of the tests, surgery may be necessary.
Surgery recovery is always faster when the patient is in better condition. Patients who are overweight have additional pounds burdening their wounded knee. Because of the pain movement causes, consider diet and low impact exercise to lose weight.
Having strong leg muscles to support your injured joint is crucial to recovery. Therefore, many patients go to therapy pre-surgery to strengthen their legs. Therapists have access to machines and exercises that build muscle without further damaging the joint.
While strength and exercise are crucial for both shoulder and knee surgery prep, be wary of overexertion. Especially soon after injury, mobility can worsen the problem. For injuries such as partial tendon tears and subluxation, movement may cause severe damage. Consult with a doctor to determine which stage of rest to exercise you need.
Depending on your operation, knee surgery recovery time can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year. With procedures such as knee replacements, it is imperative a patient exercises and maintains proper leg positioning. In addition, visiting a physical therapist helps prevent atrophy and misalignment.
Shoulder surgery recovery time varies a similar amount. Arthroscopic surgery requires upwards of a year to fully recover. However, depending on your line of work, you may return to your job anywhere from three weeks to three months after the operation.
Are you dealing with chronic shoulder or knee pain? Schedule a conversation with Accelerated Interventional Orthopedics today to learn how we can help you. Our experienced group will work with you one-on-one to find the best path towards recovery.
- Shoulder and knee pain has a variety of sources.
- Strengthen your body before surgery.
- Exercise and rest based on your doctor’s recommendation.
- Visit a therapist to ensure complete recovery.