Frank J. Schlehr, M.D., P.C.
Orthopaedic Surgeon/Sports Medicine
Shoulder Injuries

Common Injuries

  • Rotator cuff tendonitis and tears
  • Impingement
  • Labrum tear (SLAP tear – superior labrum anterior to posterior)
  • Acromioclavicular joint (AC joint) arthritis
  • Frozen shoulder or arthrofibrosis
  • Biceps tendon rupture/subluxation
  • Torn ligaments, including the acromioclavicular and coracoids ligaments

Signs and Symptoms of Common Injuries   

 

  • Limited range of motion
  • Weakness with movement and lifting
  • Pain when lifting, lowering, and/or rotating the arm
  • Pain at night
  • Crepitus or crackling sensation when moving the shoulder in certain positions
  • Noticeable loss in muscle mass

 







Magnetic resonance image shows a full-thickness rotator cuff tear within the tendon.

Evaluation Procedure

The first step in the evaluation procedure is obtaining a detailed medical history of the patient.  On your initial visit you will fill out a medical questionnaire in order to gain a complete medical history and a history of your current shoulder symptoms. X-rays of the injured shoulder to detect any fractures or degenerative conditions of the bone will be obtained as needed. The doctor will then take a history and evaluate the shoulder by checking its range of motion, strength, along with performing any of the necessary special tests to help determine the nature of the injury.  The x-rays will also be reviewed. Dr. Schlehr may then arrange for you to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to provide more information about the soft tissues of your shoulder.  Once the results of the test have been reviewed, a second visit will be scheduled and Dr. Schlehr will then discuss with you the best methods of treatment for the injury.  
 

Common Methods of Treatment

·    NSAIDS (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)

·    Physical Therapy

·    Cortisone Injections

·    Rest and limited activity

·    Surgical Intervention 
 

 

Shoulder Arthroscopy

The majority of Dr. Schlehr’s surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis.  One of the most common surgical procedures Dr. Schlehr conducts is a shoulder arthroscopy.  Arthroscopy allows the doctor to view the entire shoulder joint, using very small incisions.  The arthroscope is a small tool which transmits a picture of the shoulder joint onto a television monitor.  This allows for the doctor to easily view the entire joint and determine the source of the injury.   

 

Most of the doctor’s surgeries are conducted under general anesthesia.  Once the joint is steriley prepped, the doctor makes three small incisions.  He will then insert the arthroscope to properly diagnose your problem.  Once the problem is found on the television monitor, the doctor is then able to reconstruct, repair, or remove the damaged tissues.  Once finished Dr. Schlehr will close the incisions using sutures or steri strips in each.   

Not all of Dr. Schlehr’s surgeries can be performed arthroscopically.  Larger rotator cuff and labrum tears may necessitate an open reconstruction.  The doctor must enter the joint in order to properly reattach the torn muscle tendon or torn piece of cartilage.  The doctor may also use an open incision if he has to remove part of the lateral clavicle, which is common with AC joint pain.     

Once the surgery is completed, the patient is then moved to the recovery room.  It will usually take between one to two hours before the patient is released to go home.  The patient is also required to have someone with them to drive them home.  

From there, the patient will meet regularly with the doctor in his office to follow the rehabilitation process.  Patients are generally placed in physical therapy within 1-5 days from the surgery and will meet with them 2-3 times per week. 


Returning to Work

Many times, the timetable to return to work depends on the nature of the patient’s injury along with their job.  It is important to remember that not all surgeries are the same, and that different patients heal at different rates. 

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