Posts Tagged ‘shoulder surgery’

Joint Replacement for an Active Life: Q&A with Dr. Maughon

Joints play an essential role in your body’s movements, and joint pain can negatively impact almost every facet of life. The goal of joint replacement surgery is to return patients back to their original level of activity.

From organized sports athletes to weekend warriors, Scott Maughon, MD, an Emory orthopaedic surgeon, enjoys helping athletes of all levels get back to doing what they love.

Below, he answers a few common questions about joint replacement surgery.

What is joint replacement surgery?

Dr. Maughon: Joint replacement surgery replaces the joint, or damaged or diseased parts of the joint, with man-made parts in order to relieve pain and improve mobility. Emory offers the highest in quality joint replacement surgery from our expert team of specialty fellowship-trained physicians.

What joints can be replaced with surgery?

Dr. Maughon: Almost any joint in the human body can be replaced. Some replacements are more common than others – hips, knees, and shoulders, for example. However, advances in technology and medicine have made ankle, finger, wrist and many other joint replacements more common as well.

Who is a candidate for joint replacement?

Dr. Maughon: My goal is to get my patients back to the same level of activity they enjoyed before injury or pain. Anyone who seeks to relieve pain in their joints could be a candidate for joint surgical intervention and/or replacement.

What is the recovery like after joint replacement surgery?

Dr. Maughon: Joint replacement surgery recovery time can range from several weeks to several months, depending on the patient and the joint being replaced. Emory Healthcare physicians work with each patient to develop a recovery plan based on their unique circumstances and needs.

For all joint surgery patients, there are a few general recommendations around activities. As the primary reason patients have joint replacement surgery is pain relief, the recommended post-op activities focus on those that do not put undue pressure or wear on the joint, including:

  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Using the Elliptical
  • Playing Doubles Tennis
  • Golf
  • Ice Skating

What inspired you to choose the sports/orthopaedic medicine specialty?

Dr. Maughon: Joint replacement helps athletes – from professional and organized sports players to weekend warriors – relieve pain and lead an active life. An athlete myself, it’s rewarding and exciting to be able to help kids and adults, and athletes of myriad abilities and levels, get back to what they enjoy doing. Moreover, being in sports medicine helps me connect to the community, making sure local youth sports have access to the appropriate medical care for any sports-related injuries.

Have there been any recent advances in joint replacement surgery?

Dr. Maughon: Arthroscopic surgery has made a significant difference in joint replacement and sports medicine. Being able to make a small incision instead of opening up major muscle groups during surgery dramatically improves recovery time for patients.

Watch Dr. Maughon discuss joint replacement in the video below.

Dr. Maughon practices at Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital in Johns Creek, Ga. To learn more about Emory Orthopaedics & Spine surgeons and treatment options available to you, visit www.emoryhealthcare.org/ortho or call 404-778-3350.

 

About Dr. Scott Maughon


T. Scott Maughon, MD, is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in joint surgery and sports medicine, including ACL/MCL/PCL reconstruction, knee arthroscopy, rotator cuff tears, shoulder instability and dislocations, injuries in the aging athlete, meniscal/cartilage repair, ligament injuries, tendon injuries, joint preservation, and joint replacement surgery of the knee and shoulder. His research interests include the prevention of youth injuries in baseball for the throwing athlete, as well as proactive training and conditioning of youth and high school athletes to avoid the risk of injury.

Dr. Maughon is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and a member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. He is also Board Certified in Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, completed an internship and residency in orthopaedic surgery at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta, Ga., and a sports medicine fellowship with Dr. James R. Andrews at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama.


About Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital

Emory’s Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital has locations across the Atlanta metro area and offers a full range of services to diagnose, treat and repair bones, joints and connective tissue, like muscles and tendons. Emory Healthcare has the only hospital in Georgia that is dedicated to spine and joint surgery as well as non-operative spine and joint surgical interventions for physical therapy. For more information, or to schedule an appointment or an opinion, visit www.emoryhealthcare.org/ortho.

Rotator Cuff Surgery

rotator cuffThe rotator cuff is a group of four tendons and their attached muscles that stabilize the shoulder and allow you to raise and rotate your arm. The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint with three main bones: the upper arm bone (humerus), the collarbone (clavicle), and the shoulder blade (scapula). The rotator cuff helps keep the ball of the arm bone seated into the socket of the shoulder blade.

When the tendons and muscles of the rotator cuff are overly stretched or damaged, the shoulder may begin to hurt. Patients with a rotator cuff tear usually have a dull ache in their upper arm in the area of the deltoid muscle. Neck pain on the same side may develop over time, as well as dull headaches. Patients may experience weakness or “popping” in the shoulder. and have difficulty with over-head shoulder activities (tennis, swimming, getting dressed). Night pain is a common finding with rotator cuff injuries, and may result in the inability to sleep.

If you’ve torn your rotator cuff, your doctor may recommend surgery if your pain does not improve with nonsurgical methods. These include exercises using light weights and rubber bands, anti-inflammatory medications and massage to relieve discomfort. Continued pain and inability to perform the activities of daily living are the primary indications for surgery, and if you’re very active and use your arms for overhead work or sports, your doctor may also suggest surgery.

Surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff most typically involves sewing the torn edges of the tendon to their insertion on the top of the humerus, but partial tears may only require a trimming or smoothing procedure (debridement) to remove loose fragments of tendon, thickened bursa, and other debris from around the shoulder joint.

In open shoulder surgery, a surgeon makes an incision in the shoulder to open it and view the shoulder directly while repairing it. However, most tears can be fixed via arthroscopic surgery. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is a minimally invasive technique for repairing a damaged rotator cuff. Using a small fiberoptic camera, the surgeon repairs the rotator cuff through 2-3 small incisions (portals) in the shoulder. Arthroscopic techniques result in less pain and stiffness, thus leading to a faster initial recovery time. Because arthroscopic tools are thin, your surgeon can use very small incisions, rather than the larger incision needed for standard, open surgery.

Surgery for rotator cuff repair requires significant recovery time. The patient will most likely wear a sling for four to six weeks. It will take approximately 3 months for initial healing of the tendon, but patients may begin light activities, such as writing and typing, almost immediately after surgery. Light weightlifting and shoulder strengthening begins 10-12 weeks post-operatively. You may not have significant pain relief or an increase in motion for several months following rotator cuff surgery. The healing process, coupled with physical therapy takes an extended period of time, sometimes up to six to nine months for a full recovery.

About Dr. Karas

Spero Karas, MDSpero Karas, MD,  is the Director of the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship Program and an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Emory University. Dr. Karas is an internationally recognized expert in his field, which includes sports medicine, surgery of the shoulder and knee, and arthroscopic surgery. He has been recognized as one of America’s “Top Orthopaedic Doctors” in Men’s Health Magazine April 2007 and “Top Sports Medicine Specialists for Women” in Women’s Health Magazine. Atlanta Magazine has named him “Atlanta’s Most Trusted Sports Medicine Specialist” for the past eight years.

Dr. Karas came to Emory in 2005, after serving as Chief of the Shoulder Service and team physician at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He currently serves as team physician for the Atlanta Falcons, as well as a consulting team physician for Emory University and Georgia Tech athletics. He cares for patients and athletes of all levels: professional, collegiate, scholastic, and recreational.

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