1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Waiting to see the doctor (update on my shoulder)

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Smallpotatoes, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. DocTalk

    DocTalk Active Member

    If there is nothing broken, and there is no problem with range of motion or with nerve function, you may be better served by visiting with a physical therapist rather than an orthopedic surgeon. Overuse shoulder girdle injuries most often can be treated conservatively with exercises and other treatment modailities like ultrasound and electrical stimulation. Operations to fix tears, while done early on elite athletes (because their window of performance opportunity is so short) usually are delayed until an adequate trial of therapy is undertaken.

    As for what physical therapist? If you're young (or young at heart) and a pseudo-athlete, try ot find a sports physical therapist. hceck with one of the teams you work with to see who the trainers might recommend.
  2. I basically second what Doctalk said. If the ice and Advil route doesn't work, maybe the next step would be a cortisone injection. But that would probably be after some physical threrapy (with all of the goodies Doctalk mentioned). The cortisone injection should be something a primary (family practice) doctor can do. Feel free to chime in on this, Doctalk.

    Maybe Doctalk can back me up on this. Chances are, your primary just referred you to the orthopaedic doc to cover his own backside. As in, in case down the line you decide to sue, he can say, "Well, I told him to go see so and so if it didn't get better." I don't think your primary meant for you to go rushing out to see this person.

    I can't emphasize this enough based at least on my own problems with tendons, ligaments, etc. Orthopaedic surgeons are generally a big waste of time and money. Definitely try a physical therapist or ask your primary for about how well a cortisone injection would work for your situation before trying to maneuver your way in to see the orthopaedic doc sooner.

    There's a saying other doctors have about orthopaedic surgeons since they generally have to be big, tall and strong to be able to set bones. Orthopaedic surgeons: as big as an ox and almost as smart as one.
  3. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    So maybe insyead of going to the orthopedist, just go back to my PC doctor and ask to to just have me go straight to phsyical therapy?
    Remeber, I can't afford to pay for either an orthopedic specialist or physical therapy entirely out of my own pocket. My options are limited by what my insurance will and will not cover.
  4. I'm not a doctor. I've just had a ton on ligament, tendon, etc. problems and am close with/related to a lot of doctors including family practicioners (primary docs.) Obviously, it's hard to diagnose over the 'net and I don't know what the primary did and didn't tell you to do. But, if I were you, based on what you've posted here, I'd check back with the primary first and see about seeing a physical therapist and/or getting a cortisone injection(s) before manuevering to get into see the orthopaedic doc sooner. Both those things - physical therapy and cortisone injections - are usually covered by insurance.

    How long has it been since you've seen the primary and (s)he told you to do the ice and Advil thing? Usually they want it to be at least a few days if not 2 weeks or so before they send you on to something else.

    By the way, Doctalk, I hope you're not an orthopaedic surgeon. I've just had really bad experiences with them with soft tissue problems. One that I saw flat out said, "There's nothing wrong with your elbow." When I went and saw a physical therapist afterwards, she was horrified that any medical person would say that. That's why I insist (and the family practicioners I know generally agree) that orthopaedic docs can only see bones. That's why I'm so insistant that a trip to one in this person's case, unless he/she tore off his/her arm at the shoulder socket would most likely be a waste of time. At least until (s)he sees a physical therapist or gets a cortisone injection.
  5. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    A regular regimen of booze and Vicodin should keep you squared away until you can see the doctor.
  6. OTD

    OTD Well-Known Member

    Maybe you can get Callie to set it for you . . .

  7. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    Cortisone shots are a waste of time. A temporary fix at best, but I've had them for a wide range of body joints and not one has ever offered the slightest bit of relief.
  8. DocTalk

    DocTalk Active Member

    Cortisone injections work as a local anti-inflammatory. They are not meant to correct the underlying structural or mechanical involvements surrounding a joint.

    As to the utility of orthopedics surgeons, please appreciate that with anything else in life, there are the good, the bad and the ugly. My favorite orthopd was a woman standing all of 4'10" who would have to climb up onto the gurney to reduce hip dislocations. Gentle, kind but with a surgeoans mentality. And as to their usefulness only with bones, try to have an open mind about ACL repairs, hip labrum tears, joint reconstructions and repair (think Tommy John surgery).

    And SP, call your doc for a PT referral; there should be no need to make another office appointment.
  9. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    And don't forget the booze and Vicodin.
  10. Doctalk, fair enough on the ACL, joint reconstruction, etc. and orthopaedic surgeons. But I think you'll agree those are much more major procedures than what it sounds like Smallpotatoes (ironic name in this case) has. As you recommended in one of your posts, a trip to a physical therapist first would likely be much more beneficial for tendonitis, strains, etc. than a trip to an orthopod. In those cases, it seems like orthopods don't know anything but bones exist. Unfortunately, I've had to deal with plenty of soft tissue issues and unfortunately many orthopods. Some of them have been team docs for bigtime franchises known for their good medical rehab. All of them have been disappointing. Basically, I was just seconding what you were saying at first about going to a PT before rushing off to an orthopod and trying to save smallpotatoes some of the time, expense and disappoint I've experienced with orthopods given the type of problem (s)he seems to be having.

    As an aside, one thing you mentioned piqued my curiosity - the orthopod who was gentle and kind with a surgeon's mentality. Just curious what you meant by that because the doctors who I'm close with always joke that a surgeon's mentality is basically to be a jerk - the exact opposite of gentle and kind. More like arrogant and mean. The joke being that most surgeons can only deal with patients who are knocked out and put under.
  11. DocTalk

    DocTalk Active Member

    FTC...as in all professions, there are some good guys and not so good guys. I've been fortunate to work with the good ones.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page