STEP 1: GET AN MRI
X-rays are great to see degeneration within a joint, but they do not tell you the condition of the surrounding musculature of the shoulder. An MRI helps doctors visualize tears, fluid accumulation and longterm degeneration. The shoulder is a small ball in socket joint similar to a golfball sitting on a golf tee. The shoulder is held in place by muscles and ligaments and is a common place for tears. MRI imaging is helpful to immediately determine where tears and areas of damage are. This helps develop specific treatment strategies to speed up healing.
STEP 2: GO TO AN INTEGRATED CLINIC
Integrated clinics are great places to go for shoulder issues because the shoulder is a very complex orchestra of moving parts that sometimes needs more than just rehab exercises. Scar tissue, bursitis, joint arthritis and rotator cuff tears all have one thing in common: that they respond wonderful to injection therapy. Having additional tools such as dry needling, trigger point therapy and regenerative medicine help improve circulation to an area with little blood supply and can help heal the shoulder from within. Having multiple physicians who can read MRI’s and imaging reports can help save you time and money by determining if a surgical referral is needed right away.
STEP 3: PHONE A FRIEND
Asking someone who has worked with a surgeon and had a positive outcome is a great sign that the surgeon is detailed and skilled at the procedure. Reading reviews online and asking your primary care physician is a great way to get information about surgeons. Call your local physical therapy office and ask who they would refer if they were going to send a loved one. many patients after surgery and can give you an idea of who they would recommend.
STEP 4: RESEARCH ALTERNATIVES
For partial rotator cuff tears, bursitis, tendonitis and arthritis regenerative medicine may be the solution. Many structures of the shoulder do not get a blood supply and therefor do not heal well on their own . PRP and Stem cell therapy offers a solution by using the natural healing ability of the bodies own cells to repair damaged areas.