5 Indications that You Should See an Orthopedic Doctor for Your Shoulder Injury

At times you don’t know how serious your neglected shoulder injury can get before you need professional help. The question that you might have in mind is: how would I know when to see a doctor for my shoulder injury? Shoulder and elbow injuries often happen as a result of a serious fall leading to shoulder pain, hearing a clicking or popping sound in your shoulder, noticing a bruise or a bump, or experiencing immobility.

Some shoulder pain can be ignored and will get better on its own over a period of time. This strategy can work for most people, but it might be a bad idea for serious types of shoulder and elbow injuries.

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Now how can you tell if you need to be seen by a shoulder doctor in Garner? Listed below are the five indications that should be observed before setting an appointment with an orthopedic doctor.

1. You heard a popping sound in your shoulder

After an intense fall you can hear a popping sound in your shoulder, which will be followed by severe pain or shoulder weakness. This might be a tear in your rotator cuff, or an AC joint separation. When you hear the popping sound after a fall, it is important to see a doctor right away before your injury gets worse.

2. Your shoulder becomes weak

Shoulder weakness after obtaining injury may be due to a ruptured or torn rotator cuff. This is usually caused by a sudden force being exerted on to the shoulder. Having large tears on the rotator cuff usually causes weakness, especially when you are trying to lift your arm. If you are experiencing this, it’s time for you to see a doctor.

3. Your shoulder seems unstable

If you lack stability in your shoulder after getting injured, it means that your shoulder is most likely dislocated. In some cases, a dislocated shoulder will slide back to its place immediately after getting up from the ground. Some will not – this is when you need to be seen by an orthopedic doctor.

4. Your shoulder has a bump

You may notice a bump on the top part of your shoulder after a sudden fall. A bump always comes with severe pain, which only indicates that an injury in your AC joint has occurred or there’s a shoulder separation. Most AC separation cases do not require surgery, but a doctor’s evaluation is necessary to assess which type of AC separation you have. Once the doctor determines which type of AC separation you have, you will know if your shoulder injury is serious or it just needs time to recover on its own.

5. Your clavicle becomes painful

A sudden fall onto your shoulder transmits the force to your clavicle (collarbone), which can make it fractured. After the injury you may notice a bump over your clavicle as well as a severe pain in that particular area. It is important to have a doctor evaluate the type of fracture you have so you can receive proper care before the injury gets worse.

Most shoulder injuries can worsen when left untreated. That is why it is important to immediately see an orthopedic doctor if you are experiencing any (or all) of the five indications mentioned above.

The Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic board-certified, fellowship-trained shoulder surgeons bring together many years of experience to diagnose and treat even the most complex shoulder conditions for patients of all ages. The shoulder doctor in Garner is dedicated to providing specialized bone, joint, and muscle care when you need it. Our specialists are available to treat patients full time in Garner. We also offer urgent care hours without an appointment for acute orthopaedic concerns.

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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.