New Study Reveals: Shoulder Surgery Offers Hope for Older Patients Suffering from Chronic Painsrortho
Santa Rosa Orthapaedic Surgeon Neema Pourtaheri M.D. discusses the results of a recent study on shoulder replacement surgery and offers insight into why older patients recover so well.
A new medical study by Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit reveals good news for older shoulder replacement patients; post-operative recovery just might be even better than they imagined. Researchers analyzed data and shoulder function scores from two groups of patients presenting with osteoarthritis following surgery: 262 patients under 65 and 103 patients over 75. The conclusion is that patients older than 75 actually had the best results in shoulder function scores following surgery.
“The number of people undergoing shoulder replacement surgery continues to rise,” explains SRO surgeon Dr. Neema Pourtaheri. “With the improvements in surgical technique related to shoulder surgery it’s a much more viable solution for many people who have persistent chronic pain due to arthritis or other issues. And this study clearly demonstrates that age shouldn’t be a consideration when it comes to making the choice to improve a person’s overall quality of life.”
Researchers were surprised to discover that younger patients may have had better function and range of motion before surgery, but it was the older patients that saw the biggest improvement after surgery. Younger patients also had a higher complication rate. “It’s very likely that the dramatic improvements of this study for older patients has something to do with the fact that this group had more severe shoulder pain and less range of motion prior to surgery,” Dr. Pourtaheri says. “Following surgery it’s typical for most patients to experience better function, much less pain, improved range of motion and increased strength. In contrast, older patients who have suffered longer with painful joints and limited range of motion would naturally notice the greatest improvements.”
Pain that leads to shoulder surgery
There are a number of issues that can lead to should pain including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic injury stemming from an accident or fall, to name just a few. While in some cases pain can be treated at home with a combination of rest, ice and over-the-counter medication, more severe shoulder injuries and persistent conditions are best treated by an orthopedist who can provide proper diagnosis and treatment. Common conditions best treated by a specialist include; arthritis, shoulder bone spurs, torn rotator cuffs, fractures, dislocation, damaged cartilage and throwing injuries.
“An important part of maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle is having flexibility and mobility in the shoulder and elbow joints,” explains Dr. Pourtaheri. “Nagging symptoms such as chronic pain and arthritis that limit mobility can cause a person to refrain from participating fully in life.” Orthopaedic surgeons like Dr. Pourtaheri offer a variety of non-surgical and surgical treatment options aimed at helping patients resume the activities that make life meaningful.
About Dr. Pourtaheri and SRO
Dr. Neema Pourtaheri is a board certified and fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon who brings invaluable medical expertise to the SRO team. He has trained alongside some of the world’s finest orthopaedic surgeons and in highly versed in the latest advancements in shoulder and elbow care. In addition, he practices general orthopaedics including arthroscopy, fracture care, joint replacement, reverse total shoulder replacement and total shoulder & elbow replacement with a focus on minimally invasive procedures. Dr. Pourtaheri also performs Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections to advance healing and pain relief when standard treatments are not as effective.
SRO offers patients in-house diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation, sports injury prevention, as well as advanced surgical treatments in joint replacement, sports medicine, trauma care, hand, foot and ankle, shoulder and elbow and general orthopedic surgery. To learn more, visit the SRO website and to make an appointment with Dr. Pourtaheri call 707-546-1922.