Monday, April 13, 2015

Will My Frozen Shoulder Ever Get Better?

Frozen shoulder, or Adhesive Capsulitis is a frustrating and painful condition that typically effect people in the 40's and 50's.  It almost sneaks up on you, feeling like a tweaked shoulder from doing something dumb like trying to catch the soda can as it rolls off the counter.  It can be a very painful process to go through, interrupting your sleep, your work and effecting pretty much every aspect of your life.  Along with the pain comes an inability to move your shoulder.

The frustrating part of this is that it doesn't matter how high a pain threshold you have or how hard you work to stretch, you can't make this go away any faster.  Beyond that, there is not much I, as your surgeon and physician can do about it either. It has a mind of it's own.   Aggressive physical therapy, forceful manipulation, surgery all fail to make this go away any sooner.  My role in getting you better is primarily supportive.  I can offer you cortisone injections to help make the pain bearable.  I can show you some stretches to help make you shoulder slightly more useful, but ultimatelly, frozen shoulder thaws on its own schedule.  Even worse... it can take up to 2 years to go away.  Ulitimately, it does resolve and you should expect full use of your arm in time.

For more information, you can read this handout from the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy or call our office for and appointment.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Recovery from Knee Arthroscopy

A recent question came in asking about recovery from a "Knee Scope".  Knee arthroscopies are one of the most common orthopedic procedures across the country, but it is important to keep in mind the the scope is only a tool, like a screw driver or a hammer.  Much like a hammer, scopes can be used for a variety of reasons and the recovery is based on what was done to the knee.  Most of the time, meniscal tears and loose bits of cartilage are trimmed.

In this instance, patients are encouraged to use the leg carefully, while the swelling and inflammation from the surgery quiets down.  From there, it typically takes patients anywhere from 1-3 months to return to their "pre-surgery activity level".  There are more involved surgeries that are done arthroscopically such as meniscal repairs, microfractures and cartilage transfers.  These require slower and more involved rehabs.  ACL reconstructions are also done arthroscopically, and these require a 6-12 month rehab.  If you would like more info on my ACL rehab protocol, you can follow this link to our Patient Resources Page or The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.