Houston, TX Shoulder Specialist – Bringing Pain-relief to You
In order to get the best care for your shoulder problem, you should see an orthopedic shoulder specialist. Houston orthopedic surgeon K. Mathew Warnock, M.D., specializes in arthroscopic shoulder surgery and is board-certified in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. He treats patients suffering from a wide range of disorders from rotator cuff and labral tears to shoulder fractures and dislocations. Early intervention can help prevent further injury. Dr. Warnock will examine your shoulder, discuss the treatment options available to you, and try to find a way to relieve the problem without surgery. If surgery is required, you’ll want an experienced shoulder surgeon. Call Dr. Warnock to schedule your consultation today.
Dr. Warnock has successfully treated patients suffering from many different injuries, including:
Rotator Cuff Tears
Rotator cuff tears typically cause swelling, weakness, and stiffness in the shoulder joint. People experiencing a rotator cuff injury often report hearing a clicking noise when raising or lowering their arms. Age, overuse of the arm, and damage from trauma are the most common causes of a rotator cuff injury.
Injuries to the superior labrum are called SLAP tears. SLAP tears are a separation of the cartilage from the glenoid or bony socket of the shoulder. SLAP tears occur where the bicep tendon attaches to the labrum, and this type of injury can lead to pain, especially when weight lifting or engaging in sport-related activities.
Fractures of the shoulder and clavicle are common. Many fractures of the shoulder area can be treated without surgery, while the more serious fractures often require surgery. Common characteristics of a shoulder fracture include pain, swelling, bruising, and feelings of shoulder instability. Shoulder fractures typically occur in adults that fall on their shoulders. Fractures of the clavicle and AC separations commonly occur in young people that fall on the top of the shoulder.
A shoulder dislocation is a common injury in people of all ages and occurs when the humerus, the upper arm bone, disconnects from the shoulder socket. Symptoms of a shoulder dislocation include weakness, swelling, numbness, and bruising in the arm. Some shoulder dislocations cause more serious injuries to the shoulder, such as rotator cuff tears and labral tears.
Causes of shoulder dislocations
Partial or total shoulder dislocations can be caused by several factors. Traumatic injuries due to falling, over-extension, and sports injuries are the primary reasons for shoulder dislocation. Excessive straining and repetitive motion of the shoulder, whether from sports or work-related injuries, are also significant causes of shoulder dislocation. In addition, those who are double-jointed or have loose ligaments due to genetics are more prone to experiencing shoulder dislocation.
If you have a shoulder problem that causes pain and affects the function of your shoulder, you should consult with a shoulder specialist. When surgery is required to treat the affected area, it is important to have a surgeon who is skilled in the most advanced surgical treatments. Many shoulder injuries can be treated with activity modifications and light exercise, but in most cases, arthroscopy and arthroplasty are the most effective treatments.
Arthroscopy vs. arthroplasty
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that can repair your shoulder and help you recover with less pain. This treatment option uses an arthroscope, a thin medical instrument attached to a camera, to repair damaged tissue through a small incision. Arthroscopy is typically performed for shoulder dislocations, torn ligaments and cartilage, tendonitis, and rotator cuff tears.
As an alternative, arthroplasty is performed to remedy diseased or degenerated joints. This surgery is commonly used on either part of the shoulder or the entire joint to replace arthritic tissue with prosthetics or other implants. Arthroplasty is best used for severely fractured or damaged shoulders that need to be partially or entirely replaced.
Dr. Warnock is experienced in many surgeries performed to treat the shoulder:
Rotator Cuff Repair
Rotator cuff tears are a common cause of pain and weakness in the shoulder. When the rotator cuff is torn, and the shoulder pain is persistent, shoulder surgery can provide relief. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is a state-of-the-art treatment for rotator cuff tears. In more severe cases, Dr. Warnock may perform superior capsule reconstruction, a newer treatment for irreparable posterosuperior rotator cuffs. This treatment type helps reduce shoulder pain, restore shoulder activity, and mitigate more severe joint issues.
Shoulder dislocations often cause labral tears that can lead to recurring dislocations. In young people, many of these labral tears require surgery. Labral tears that occur after a shoulder dislocation are often called Bankart lesions. Dr. Warnock is experienced and highly skilled in arthroscopic labral repair. If your shoulder has been dislocated, call for an evaluation today.
Shoulder Instability Surgery
Shoulder dislocations and shoulder instability can often be treated with non-surgical treatments like physical therapy. When therapy fails, surgery is often required to regain normal shoulder function. Dr. Warnock uses advanced arthroscopic techniques to treat shoulder instability. Often, surgery will take the form of a closed reduction, where the ball of the humerus is repositioned back into the joint socket. Patients undergoing this type of treatment usually feel immediate relief from their pain.
Latarjet Coracoid Transfer
The Latarjet coracoid transfer is performed to treat severe shoulder injuries and help high-level athletes return to sports after a shoulder dislocation. The Latarjet replaces missing bone in the shoulder socket and treats severe shoulder ligament injuries. The Latarjet is often used to treat recurrent shoulder dislocations. Dr. Warnock has extensive experience treating high-level athletes using the Latarjet coracoid transfer.
SLAP tears commonly affect the cartilage of the shoulder. These injuries can cause pain, especially in young, active athletes, and they can be treated arthroscopically. A shoulder specialist is uniquely qualified to determine if the labral tear needs to be repaired or if the injury is best treated with a biceps tenodesis. Dr. Warnock is experienced in the treatment of complex labral injuries. He can determine if the SLAP tear needs surgery or if it can be treated without surgery.
Biceps Tendon Repair
Biceps tendon tears have traditionally been treated with open surgical repair. During a biceps tendon repair, Dr. Warnock will make a small incision on the upper forearm to reattach the tendon to the radius bone. This procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis and is aimed at restoring strength and range of motion to the elbow.
Arthroscopic Capsular Release
A capsular release is used to treat a stiff shoulder that does not improve with physical therapy. Frozen shoulder is a common shoulder problem that can become so severe that surgery is needed to release the scar tissue and restore normal function to the shoulder. A severe frozen or stiff shoulder can be related to injuries, trauma, fractures, and medical conditions like diabetes. An arthroscopic capsular release can help regain shoulder motion when other treatments have failed.
Recovery After Shoulder Surgery
No matter if you undergo a rotator cuff repair or an arthroscopic capsular release, you’ll want to make sure that you have a proper recovery regime in place. Following Dr. Warnock’s post-operative instructions is the most critical factor in the healing process. If you’re instructed to wear a sling during recovery, doing so can help your shoulder stay immobilized as it heals, which helps prevent further injury. Prescribed pain relievers and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications should also be taken as instructed by Dr. Warnock to help minimize any discomfort.
When sleeping after shoulder surgery, it’s best to rest at an incline rather than flat on your back or on your side. Rolling onto your healing shoulder while you sleep can cause damage to the affected area. In addition to sleeping in the proper position, it’s recommended that you apply an ice pack to the shoulder for about 15 minutes before bedtime. This technique can help lessen any pain that may disrupt your sleep by reducing inflammation.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
Contact us to learn more about how shoulder specialist Dr. Warnock can help you overcome pain, stiffness, loss of motion, weakness, and shoulder instability. Our friendly and helpful office staff can help you schedule an appointment in our Houston office.