Injuries happen every day; some more severe than others. But even a “simple fall” can result in serious injury.
One of the most common but often more injuries you can sustain after a fall is to the shoulder. That’s because the shoulder is made up of a complex system of muscles, bones, and ligaments that work together for optimal function.
Here are some common outcomes that could occur when you injure your shoulder as a result of a fall, as well as treatments you can seek to help you heal.
Hematomas – more commonly known as bruises – are the cause of blunt force to the skin. With a bruise, blood vessels under the skin rupture, and blood leaks through the broken tissue. The result can be painful and often fantastically colorful bruises. While most bruises heal on their own, the thin skin surrounding the shoulder is quite sensitive and can cause unwarranted pain in a symphony of ever-changing hues that will dissipate over time.
Injured Nerves, Muscles, or Ligaments.
The shoulder is made up of layers of different materials. When one is damaged in a fall, the resulting pain can range from mild to severe. During a fall you may pull a muscle, tear a ligament, or damage nerves. The treatment for each is different because each heals in a different way and at a different pace. For example, a pulled muscle can be healed with ice, rest, heat, and anti-inflammatory medications; while a severely torn ligament may require surgery.
Torn Rotator Cuff.
The rotator cuff is responsible for keeping the arm bone in the shoulder socket. Unfortunately, the rotator cuff is fairly easy to damage, especially during a fall. Pain management is the first step to repair a damaged rotator cuff, and, depending on the severity of the fall and the damage that results, surgery may be merited.
The shoulder is made up of three bones: the clavicle, scapula, and humerus. A fall can damage any one of these depending on the way a person falls. Broken shoulder bones can heal without surgery, however, in severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
Shoulder pain can reduce the functionality of your shoulder as well as your quality of life. If you have fallen and now are suffering from shoulder pain, it’s essential to seek the help of a medical professional, particularly an orthopedic – the medical specialist who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing injuries and conditions of the musculoskeletal system. If you should suffer a shoulder injury as the result of a fall, your orthopedist may recommend the following treatments:
In most cases, a regimen of customized, targeted exercises under the supervision of a physical therapist can reduce symptoms and bring your shoulder back into working order. When accompanied by rest, ice and anti-inflammatories, the healing process often is accelerated.
Trigger point injections
Trigger point injections are outpatient procedures that are performed under X-ray guidance to help your doctor deliver medication to the right place. These injections relax the muscle and relieve pain by treating a trigger point, which is a small area in a muscle that is very sensitive to touch or pressure. Trigger points most often occur in the shoulder, as well as the neck and back; injections to these trigger points are considered the most effective way to ensure prompt symptom relief.
PRP, or platelet-rich plasma
PRP is a blood product created from your own blood. When treated in a centrifuge, the blood separates, creating a concentrate in which the ratio of platelets – the part of the blood that heals – is as high as 94%. This complete reversal of blood component ratios increases the effectiveness of the platelets, which, when introduced back into targeted locations of the body, tend to promote healing at a cellular level. PRP can be used to speed healing shoulder pain, as well as neck and back pain, tendonitis, fractures, and any number of conditions affecting nearly every part of your body. Plus, PRP therapy is safe, simple and effective, and, in some cases, may actually help you avoid surgery.
Stem cell therapy
Stem Cell Therapy is a way of activating the natural healing process that is already inside your body. Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are what is known as undifferentiated, meaning that they do not have a set form. Under the right circumstances, they can actually multiply and change into other kinds of cells to promote healing in targeted areas such as the shoulder after an injury or a damaged rotator cuff.
Don’t “fall” for just anyone to treat your shoulder or any orthopedic pain. If you are searching for an experienced medical team to help with your orthopedic needs, Tarpon Orthopedics is the one for you. Our specialists can help diagnose your condition and guide you on what you can do to improve your health. Call 972-596-1059 today to make an appointment.