When you’re injured, you just want to feel better. So choosing the right shoulder specialist when you’ve injured your shoulder can be stressful—but it’s vital. Without proper treatment, you can end up with chronic, sometimes even life-long shoulder pain that limits your daily activities and can stop you from doing the things you love. That’s why finding the right specialist and getting the treatment you deserve is so important.
In this blog, NYC orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Francis Mendoza will explain what to look for when searching for the right NYC shoulder specialist.
What are some of the top reasons to see a NYC shoulder specialist?
Your shoulder is the most flexible joint in your body. Unlike every other joint, it has a complete 360-degree range of motion. This allows you to move your arm to practically any location—in front of you, to the side, over your head, and even behind you. Unfortunately, the very things that give the joint this amazing range of motion also make it less stable than the other joints and thus more susceptible to injury.
Shoulder injuries are very common, and the more active you are the more likely an injury becomes. And while some minor injuries are just that—minor—in other cases, seeing a specialist may be the difference between normal activities and chronic shoulder issues that follow you through life. The following are shoulder problems that warrant seeing a shoulder specialist:
- Rotator cuff injures. Rotator cuff injuries can be mistaken for other medical problems, and the correct diagnosis and treatment are essential to a full recovery.
- Shoulder arthritis, if untreated, can lead to other shoulder injuries, and proper treatment requires consulting a shoulder specialist.
- Shoulder instability. A specialist is essential for treatment of shoulder instability, whether it’s the result of a dislocation or a congenital condition. Without proper treatment, shoulder instability tends to get progressively worse and can lead to other injuries and chronic debility.
- SLAP tears. An injury to the labrum, the thick ring of cartilage surrounding the shoulder joint socket—should always be examined by a specialist. This type of injury often necessitates surgical repair.
- Frozen shoulder. A shoulder specialist is best equipped to recommend the most effective treatment for frozen shoulder. A specialist can determine the cause, the severity of the condition, and whether it is best treated with conservative measures or surgery.
- Shoulder dislocation. A dislocated shoulder has the potential to cause great damage to many parts of the shoulder, and should only be treated by a specialist to avoid further injury and ensure the best outcome.
- Fractures. A broken shoulder is much more complex than a broken arm or leg, and has the potential to cause life-long disability if improperly treated. Shoulder fractures should always be examined and treated by an orthopedic shoulder specialist.
- Shoulder impingement. Shoulder impingement, like many other shoulder conditions, can lead to further injury if untreated and can also be mistaken for other conditions. A shoulder specialist can correctly diagnose and treat this painful condition.
And of course it should go without saying that in the case of a joint replacement, the best option is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in that joint.
What other symptoms should you see a NYC shoulder specialist for?
In some cases, you may know that you’ve injured your shoulder but be unsure exactly what type of injury you’ve sustained. The following symptoms are clues that something serious is going on and you should have your shoulder examined by a specialist and not just your family doctor:
- Severe pain – severe pain can indicate any number of serious injuries, and a shoulder specialist has the expertise to correctly diagnose the source of the pain.
- Swelling or bruising of the shoulder – this can be the result of a variety of different types of injuries, and once again a shoulder specialist is essential to getting the correct diagnosis and treatment.
- Deformity at the site of a fracture – a shoulder fracture should always be treated by a shoulder specialist, and a fracture such as this may require surgical intervention.
- Inability to move the arm without increased pain – pain is a signal that an injury has occurred, and since the shoulder is such a complex joint there are many possible causes. A shoulder specialist is best equipped to correctly diagnose shoulder injuries and ensure proper treatment.
- Grinding sensation when the shoulder is moved – this is a signal that a serious injury that requires the services of a shoulder specialist has occurred.
Choosing the best NYC Shoulder Specialist
Francis Mendoza, M.D., is a graduate of Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. Since completion of his orthopedic and shoulder training at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, he has served as the Director of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital.
He is also a member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, the Mid-Atlantic Shoulder and Elbow Society, and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. As an educator, he regularly teaches residents and practicing orthopedic surgeons advanced surgical techniques. He has been recognized as a top shoulder surgeon in New York City by Castle Connolly and by consumer groups.
If you’re looking for the best shoulder NYC shoulder specialist, look no further. Contact Dr. Mendoza and schedule your appointment today.