Shoulder and Upper Extremity Injuries are More Common than You Thought

Arnold J. Weil, M.D., of Non-Surgical Orthopaedics, P.C. in Atlanta, Ga. specializes in spine care and pain management. Dr. Weil’s approach is to identify and treat the cause of the pain, not just the symptoms. The practice has a strong emphasis on injury prevention, treatment and rehab for back, neck and upper body injuries. The practice has three highly skilled and trained Board Certified Physicians.

Shoulder and upper extremity injuries are very common. Many of them result from years of cumulative injuries punctuated by a trauma such as a motor vehicle accident, falls, or sports injuries. These injuries cost consumers, their employers and insurance companies billions of dollars a year in treatment and productivity losses.

Cumulative and trauma injuries can result in rotator cuff tears, fractures, bursitis (inflammation of the fluid-filled sac, or bursa, that lies between a tendon and skin, or between a tendon and bone), tendonitis, nerve injuries and even degenerative joint disease.

Symptoms to look for include:
•    Loss of range of motion: This can either be cumulative or sudden in nature. Many people lose some range of motion as they age; however, these injuries can begin to affect day-to-day activities in a very painful way
•    Pain in the shoulder or upper extremity: How many OTC pain pills did you pop today?
•    Weakness: This can be either sudden or gradual
•    Ecchymosis: This is found largely in trauma injuries, and is a skin discoloration caused by the escape of blood into the tissues from ruptured blood vessels
•    Muscle aches, swelling and numbness or tingling are also key symptoms

In order to diagnose and understand the exact extent of your injuries, our doctors will conduct an assessment, including a thorough physical examination, focusing on the painful area. Through palpation for tenderness, range of motion assessments, focused orthopaedic and neurological exams and other diagnostic tests, a tentative diagnosis can usually be made. After a presumptive diagnosis, treatment may include medications, physical therapy, or in some cases, patients may receive trigger-point injections into muscle spasms with such drugs as Lidocaine, a local anesthetic. For more extensive spinal injuries, the physicians at Non-Surgical Orthopaedics also perform a variety of spinal and epidural injections and procedures.

Traditionally, medications such as anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, analgesics, topical creams or neuropathic pain medications have been used. Although a small percent of patients with the injuries above may ultimately require surgery, treating musculoskeletal conditions non-surgically is the focus of Dr. Weil’s practice.

Non-Surgical Orthopaedics, P.C. believes in a hands-on approach to patient care in order to ensure the proper treatment plan is implemented for the greatest level of pain relief and return to daily activities. Dr. Weil also recommends patient education – perhaps most important for the patient’s overall well-being – including instruction in home exercises along with a return to activities.

For further information please contact:

Arnold J. Weil, MD
Non-Surgical Orthopaedics, PC
335 Roselane Street
Marietta, GA  30060
phone 770-421-1420
fax 770-421-8055

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