Sports culture in the young generation is enjoying newfound popularity in the wake of India’s recent successes at Olympic and commonwealth games. Along with the rise in popularity of sports, sports injuries also have increased in recent years.

Dr Samir Pilankar is an expert Arthroscopy and  Arthroplasty surgeon with 20 years of practice in Mumbai. He has extensive experience in Shoulder arthroscopy and has worked in hospitals of excellence in Germany and Switzerland . 

He is specialist in key hole surgery (Arthroscopy) in knee and shoulder resulting in faster recovery.

 In this article he has explained about common shoulder ailments and their treatment.

Q1: What are the common causes of shoulder pain?

Dr. Pilankar: Shoulder tendinitis, rotator cuff tear, frozen shoulder and recurrent dislocation are the four major conditions causing shoulder pain.

Q2: Why are shoulder injuries increasing in younger population?

Dr. Pilankar:  The youngsters are not aware about the correct technique of stretching and warming up prior to exercise. ‘ No pain, no gain’  this  dictum could not be more wrong. Youngsters ignore warning signs of pain and stiffness, untill it is too late.

Q3: How are shoulder conditions diagnosed?

Dr. Pilankar: first and foremost one must listen to their body. If any pain is persistent or recurrent, one must approach an orthopedic doctor at the earliest.

Clinical examination and MRI would pinpoint the exact diagnosis.

Q4: What are rotator cuff tears ?

Dr. Pilankar: As the name suggests these are tears in the rotator cuff tendons.

It may seem to happen suddenly, but usually it is the result of many tiny tears to the tendon that have happened over time. The tendon itself may be partially or completely detached from the bone. 

This results in significant pain and lack of mobility.

Q5: What is a frozen shoulder?

Dr. Pilankar: Again the name is self explanatory. A very common condition in which the shoulder becomes progressively more stiffer and finally becomes ‘frozen’  completely stiff.

It is commonly in people with diabetes and in people who’ve kept their arm immobilised for a long period of time.

Q6: What is recurrent shoulder dislocation?

Dr. Pilankar : Shoulder dislocation is a condition in which the humerus head has moved out of its socket. Dislocations damage the joint and the surrounding connective tissues, hence making the shoulder ‘ loose’ and  even more vulnerable to future Dislocations , leading to a recurrent dislocating shoulder.

Q7: How can we prevent shoulder injuries?

Dr. Pilankar : Avoid weight training without warming up. Avoid lifting excessively heavy weights. Do simple stretching and strengthening exercises everyday.

Q8: What are the treatment options for shoulder pain?

Dr. Pilankar : Initial treatment for all shoulder conditions is rest , activity modification, analgesics and physiotherapy.

If no improvement or a recurrence then surgical treatment gives excellent outcome.

Shoulder surgery has evolved from large incisions to arthroscopy.

Q9: What is shoulder Arthroscopy?

Dr. Pilankar : In shoulder arthroscopy the surgery is performed through small pinhole incisions, resulting in minimal pain and early return to activity.

There is hardly any blood loss & there is minimal pain postoperative. This allows for early resumption of sports activity. Arthroscopy has completely revolutionized shoulder surgery. All the athletes operated by us have returned to active sports.

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