Kinds of Orthopedic Doctors

Kinds of Orthopedic Doctors

Orthopedic Doctors

Orthopedic surgeons are doctors specializing in the musculoskeletal system, such as the joints, bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles that are essential for movement and daily life. Trained orthopedic surgeons can treat, diagnose, and prevent problems with advanced precision.

Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.

Orthopedic Doctor Types

Orthopedic specialists and orthopedic surgeons are not the same. Orthopedic surgeon is often used by default when referring to orthopedic doctors. This is quite common because orthopedic surgeries are a common medical procedure in this field.

Many people have had some kind of encounter with an orthopedic surgeon. However, you should understand that all orthopedic surgeons are specialists, while all orthopedic specialists are not surgeons.

Orthopedic specialists, surgical or another, are qualified for assessing, diagnosing, and treating orthopedic ailments using noninvasive treatments. But, all orthopedic surgeons don’t operate just because they are qualified to do so.

Skilled orthopedic specialists with a robust healthcare system will be more interested in using advanced noninvasive technique for restoring lives. They will use computer assisted treatments and minimally invasive procedures for harvesting and growing cells for cartilage repair.

Orthopedic specialists are vital to a patient’s orthopedic care plan, whether they are operative or not. They evaluate a patient’s unique condition to provide treatment options. They also help them determine a preferable course of action. This may or may not include surgery, even if the physician is an orthopedic surgeon.

Specialist or Surgeon

Non-surgical orthopedists are a great starting point for patients that haven’t received a clear diagnosis. Most orthopedic conditions can be treated effectively without surgery. This includes the majority of sports medicine injuries as well. Patients are directed to orthopedic surgeons if surgery does become necessary.

Conversely, it is wise to speak with an orthopedic surgeon if your diagnosis includes surgery. Patients should speak with their primary care physician to determine if they require surgery. The physician would even research their condition after making a diagnosis.

Role of Primary Care Physicians

You would need to see an orthopedic specialist whenever an injury is caused by repetitive motion or is traumatic in nature. Orthopedic specialist is required even when an injury is exacerbated by repeated motion. Primary care providers, on the other hand, are the first point when a patient experiences a mix of orthopedic symptoms (joint or bone pain) and non-orthopedic symptoms.

These are a few telltale indicators that you should visit a PCP or an orthopedic specialist:

  • Chronic pain
  • Limited range of motions
  • Inability to perform everyday functions
  • Trouble standing
  • Trouble walking
  • Sprain
  • Soft tissue injury

Importance of Sub-Specialists

Orthopedic specialists sub-specializing in treating specific body areas or particular conditions are a judicious option for patients. Sub-specialists come with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area of their expertise. This can help patients with chronic or complex conditions.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for safe and proven orthopedic surgery procedures.

Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada

Joint Fusion Surgery

Joint Fusion

You may need joint fusion surgery (arthrodesis) if you have severe arthritis pain. The procedure welds or fuses the two bones together that form part of the aching joint. This will result in the bone getting fused together to become a single solid bone. This can help lessen the pain. This can stabilize the joint and help you place more weight on it.

Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada and also serving greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and surrounding locations.

Good Candidates for Joint Fusion Surgery

Arthritis is capable of causing severe damage to the joints. Joint fusion surgery can be considered if other treatments have not helped. The surgery can help relieve symptoms of scoliosis, degenerative disk disease and other back problems. Joint fusion surgery can be performed on the:

  • Spine
  • Ankles
  • Fingers
  • Wrists
  • Feet
  • Thumbs

It may take a long time to heal from joint fusion surgery. This is why your doctor would ask you whether you can cope with a long recovery or not. You may not be a suitable candidate if you have other health issues, such as:

  • Infection
  • Poor bone quality
  • Narrowed arteries
  • Neurological problem that keeps your body from healing

Joint Fusion Surgery Process

Depending on the type of joint fusion surgery performed, you can either have it as an outpatient surgery or in the hospital. Your doctor may choose to provide you with general anesthesia. If you want, the surgery can be performed with local anesthesia as well.

An incision will be made by the surgeon at the surgery site once you are under the effect of anesthesia. They will scrape away damaged tissue or cartilage from the joint. This will allow the bones to fuse together. In some cases, the surgeon may place a small fragment of bone between the ends of the joint.

This bone piece may be taken from the pelvic bone, below the knee, or the heel. The bone may also come from a bone bank that stores donated bones. Your doctor may choose to make use of a manmade substance instead of an actual bone. Space within the joint may be closed using screws, metal plates, or wires.

The hardware used is usually permanent and will stay even when the joint heals completely. The surgeon will close the incisions using staples or sutures once they are finished.

Results and Recovery

You would need to wear a brace or cast for a few days after the joint fusion surgery. You may need to use a wheelchair, walker, or crutches as well. Healing can take anywhere from 12 – 14 weeks. You would need help to get through your daily chores and household tasks. You should expect to lose some range of motion.

You may feel stiffness in the joint as well. Physical therapy may allow you to keep all other joints in working shape. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada and also serving greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and nearby areas for orthopedic surgery.

Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada

What Are The Most Common Orthopedic Surgeries?

Common Orthopedic Surgeries

Orthopedic surgeons perform a wide array of orthopedic surgeries for addressing various different parts of the body. These procedures are invasive in nature, but are basic and routine.

Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada and also serving greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and surrounding communities.

Knee Replacement

The knee is a highly used joint in the body. Unfortunately, it tends to get over-used to the point of injury many times. Knee replacement surgery may be performed by your surgeon for replacing a part or the entire joint with artificial components.

In most cases, knee replacement is necessary because the joint cartilage is damaged which makes it painful to move or restricts movement.

ACL Surgery

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is an important part of the knee. It runs diagonally across the knee towards the front. The ACL is responsible for keeping you stable when you rotate the leg. Reconstructive surgery is required if this ligament gets torn. The surgery involves taking a small part of tendon from somewhere else in the body. The part is then grafted on the damaged part. This is not a major surgery and patients can usually return home the same day.

Hip Replacement

Hip is another common joint that is usually replaced. The hip is made up of the femoral head (the ball) and the acetabulum (the socket). Like the knee, hip cartilage tends to wear over time as well. This is especially true if it is damaged. The entire joint needs replacing in most cases. However, you may choose to get Birmingham Hip Resurfacing in which only the damaged part is replaced.

Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder is another common joint replacement surgery. The upper part of the arm bone or the humerus is replaced with a metal ball in most cases. The surgeon will put in a plastic replacement for replacing the damaged part of the socket. However, in case the rotator cuff is damaged, the socket will be made of metal and the arm bone will be replaced with a plastic component.

Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy can be performed on the shoulder or knee. It is a minimally invasive procedure allowing surgeons to place a tiny camera in the body near the joint. It allows for a clear image of the damage. You may need to get the arthroscopy done before a shoulder or knee replacement to allow the surgeon to determine the extent of damage.

Joint Fusion

You may need a joint fusion procedure if you suffer from arthritis. Cartilage will be taken from an uninjured part of the body during the surgery and grafted on the damaged area. Once your surgeon performs this procedure, the bones on either side of the joint will fuse together. This helps in stabilizing the joint to a significant extent. The procedure can be successfully performed in the fingers, spine, feet, and ankles.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada and also serving greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and nearby areas for orthopedic surgery.

Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada

What is The Difference Between Arthritis And Osteoarthritis?

Arthritis And Osteoarthritis

Arthritis and osteoarthritis are frequently confused together. This is because they both belong to the same family of pathology – rheumatism. However, the two are very different with several distinct symptoms.

Osteoarthritis is a mechanical condition that is characterized by the slow and gradual wearing down of joint cartilage. Aging is a common risk factor where osteoarthritis is concerned. On the other hand, arthritis does not occur because of the normal wear and tear of bones. Instead, this condition takes place because of inflammation that results in the secretion of joint destroying substances.

Arthritis can be infectious, metabolic or genetic in nature. Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada and also serving greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and surrounding locations.

Difference in Symptoms

A common symptom to both conditions is naturally pain in the joint. Painin osteoarthritis generally takes place when the joint is moving. It decreases when the joint is at rest. In the case of arthritis, moving the joint may reduce the intensity of pain. The pain is worst during night when the body is at rest. Patients with arthritis notice a warm sensation near the affected joint along with swelling and redness.

Difference in Causes

Aging is a primary cause of osteoarthritis. People in certain occupations have a higher likelihood of developing osteoarthritis as compared to others. This is because the joints (primarily wrists and elbows) in such occupation are being constantly used.

Obesity is another reason for osteoarthritis issues, especially in the hips and knees. On the other hand, arthritis is caused due to hereditary factors. Additionally, people with chemical imbalance or immune disorder are at a greater risk.

Difference in Diagnosis

The doctor will perform a clinical assessment of the situation for making a diagnosis. They can prescribe X-rays and blood tests that will help determine whether you suffer from arthritis or osteoarthritis. This is when the doctors would choose an appropriate treatment plan based on your diagnosis.

Difference in Treatment

Osteoarthritis treatment

Treatment depends on the particular situation of a patient. Symptoms of osteoarthritis are irreversible, but can be managed. Your doctor will determine the best treatment plan for you which may include the following:

  • Pain medications: Over the counter pain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen may be used for treating mild pain. Otherwise, your doctor would prescribe stronger medication.
  • Surgery: You may need to undergo a joint replacement surgery if other treatment options don’t lessen the pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment

Most RA medications have side effects making it important to get regular doctor checkups. If your joint and pain function worsen after trying exercise, medicine, and lifestyle changes, you should consider joint replacement surgery.

These are a few tips for improving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Rest whenever tired
  • Use walkers, splints, canes, and other devices
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada and also serving greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Mesquite, NV, and nearby areas for orthopedic surgery.

Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada

Bicep Tendon Tear

Tendon Tear Treatment

Bicep tendon tear at the shoulder happens because of overuse or an abrupt injury. The tendon may tear entirely or partially depending on the injury. Most people live out their lives with a bicep tendon tear without getting a surgery. However, the tear does cause a person to lose some mobility and strength in their shoulder.

The loss is not big enough to make any difference in your day-to-day activities. But, you may need a surgery if you want to regain strength and full mobility in your shoulder. Bicep tendon tear recovery can be a long process. However, you can always return to your daily activities.

Thomas & Bigler Knee and Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, while also serving areas such as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.

Symptoms of Biceps Tendon Tear

These are a few common symptoms associated with the injury:

  • Tenderness or pain in the elbow or shoulder
  • Bicep cramps when used strenuously
  • Bruising down to the elbow from the upper arm
  • Sharp and sudden pain in the upper arm
  • Weakness in the elbow and shoulder
  • Difficulty turning the arm
  • Audible snap or pop in the shoulder

Torn tendons can lose the ability to keep bicep muscles tight. A dent near the shoulder and a bulge in the upper arm may appear.

Overview of the Treatment

A majority of people are able to function with tendon tears in their biceps after getting simple, non-surgical treatments. However, if symptoms don’t alleviate, they may require other invasive treatments to recover strength and mobility in the shoulder.

Non-Surgical Option

Over time, the pain from biceps tendon tear goes away for most people. There are several things people can do to reduce this time:

  • Rest: You should avoid overhead activities and heavy lifting that may increase swelling. Your doctor may recommend wearing a sling as well to shorten the recovery period.
  • Ice: Swelling can be controlled by applying ice packs several times a day for 20 minutes. Do not apply the pack directly to your skin.
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications: Motrin and Advil are standout for reducing pain and swelling.
  • Physical Therapy: Strengthening and flexibility exercises help in restoring movement.

Surgical Options

You may not require surgical treatments for healing your biceps tendon tear. Surgery is generally required by people who need complete recovery of strength or develop muscle cramping. There are several new and advanced procedures for repairing the tendon with minimally invasive incisions.

The procedures, in general, consist of re-anchoring the injured tendon to the bone. Your options will be discussed in detail with you by your orthopedic surgeon.

The surgeon may put your shoulder in a sling after the surgery to immobilize it. They will also start physical therapy soon after. You can improve your range of motion with flexibility and strengthening exercises. Recovery may be slow in the beginning. But, you will soon regain complete movement.

Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for orthopedic surgery.

Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada

Shoulder Arthroscopy Repair

Shoulder Arthroscopy Treatment

Shoulder blade fractures are relatively uncommon injuries resulting in swelling and pain in the shoulder area. These fractures are usually caused by blunt trauma or high energy injuries, such as car accidents and hard falls. The injury is usually treated in a nonsurgical way. However, depending on the severity, your physician may recommend surgical intervention.

Shoulder blade fractures can often result in severe injuries to the chest, lungs, and internal organs. It’s paramount for this reason to attain medical attention when you think you may have a fractured shoulder.

Thomas & Bigler Knee and Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, while also serving areas such as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.

Understanding Shoulder Fractures

Shoulder blade fractures are common in car accidents, falls from height, and other high-energy blunt force impact. Shoulder blade fractures are usually accompanied by trauma to the lungs, chest, and other internal organs. This makes it important to consult with an orthopedic as soon as possible. Shoulder fractures are not common and represent just 1% of broken bones. They usually occur in men aged 25 to 45.

Common Symptoms of Shoulder Blade Fractures

Shoulder blade fractures have several common symptoms. These include:

  •  Extreme pain during arm movement
  • Swelling in the shoulder blade
  • Shoulder bruising
  • Scrapes around the shoulder area

You should attain immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following:

  • Decreased sensation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain

Diagnosing Shoulder Blade Fracture

Your orthopedic surgeon will check the posture and position of your shoulder. They will also look at your visible symptoms and any other additional damage. The physician may ask for certain imaging tests of the chest and shoulder to determine the severity of the injury. This includes CT Scans, MRI, and x-rays.

  • Computed Tomography (CT) scans provide detailed images of the organs, bones, and soft tissues
  • X-rays provide images of bone and other dense structures
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the shoulder may be required for diagnosing shoulder socket fractures

Nonsurgical Treatment Options

You should stop moving your arm immediately after getting injured. Apply ice packs to reduce discomfort and swelling. You should also consider wearing a sling to immobilize your arm and hold the shoulder in place.

Your physician may ask you to move your shoulder after the first one week to prevent elbow and shoulder stiffness. The sling will not be needed as the pain reduces. You should continue performing stretching exercises until full motion returns in the shoulder area. This can take anywhere from 6 months to a year.

Surgical Options

Surgery may be required if the shoulder blade fracture is extensive or severe and is unable to heal on its own. Bone fragments in the shoulder blade may need to be repositioned first during the surgical procedure. They will be aligned normally and held in place with special screws on metal plates.

Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for orthopedic surgery.

Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada

Shoulder Arthritis

Shoulder Arthritis Treatment

More than 50 million people in the country are affected by arthritis. The shoulder in the human body is one of the most sensitive areas. Pain and inflammation are major symptoms of arthritis in the area. There are several treatment options available even though there is no definite cure for arthritis for reducing pain and stiffness.

Thomas & Bigler Knee and Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, while also serving areas such as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.

Types of Shoulder Arthritis

Shoulder arthritis is of varying types. Each comes with its own option for treatment:

  • Osteoarthritis: This is a condition in which the smooth outer covering of the bone is destroyed. The cartilage wears away and the space between the bones is reduced. This causes the bones to rub against each other.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: This affects almost all joints in the body. RA usually affects the joints on one side and causes the synovium lining to swell and cause stiffness and pain. RA is an autoimmune condition, which means the body’s immune cells make the joints weaker.
  • Posttraumatic Arthritis: This type of osteoarthritis comes after an injury to the shoulder.
  • Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy: This is a long-lasting rotator cuff tendon tear. Friction is created between the acromion and the humerus. Intense weakness and pain can be created by the friction which limits arm movement.
  • Avascular Necrosis: Interrupted blood supply to the humerus can result in this condition. Bone cells can die without ample blood supply causing the shoulder joint to break down. AVN may occur because of heavy alcohol consumption, steroid use, shoulder fracture, and sickle cell disease.

Types of Treatment

Shoulder arthritis can be treated through surgical and nonsurgical options.

Nonsurgical Options

Your orthopedic surgeon will first run all nonsurgical treatment options by you before suggesting surgical options. Nonsurgical options include:

  • Rest
  • Icing
  • Physical therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Moist heat

Surgical Treatment Procedure

Your physician will recommend surgical treatment if your shoulder arthritis doesn’t improve. The following options may be recommended for you depending on the extent and severity of your condition:

  • Arthroscopy: This is generally suggested for mild glenohumeral arthritis. Small incisions are made to insert a tiny camera into the shoulder joint. This is to help the surgeon debride or clean out the inside of the shoulder joint. It helps in providing pain relief.
  • Shoulder joint replacement (arthroplasty): Shoulder replacement goes a long way in treating advanced glenohumeral arthritis. This is where prosthetics are used to replace damaged shoulder parts. Hemiarthroplasty, total shoulder arthroplasty, and reverse total shoulder arthroplasty are a few options.
  • Resection arthroplasty: This is the most used procedure for treating arthritis of the acromioclavicular joint. Small portion of the bone will be removed from the end of the collarbone to leave some space for the scar tissue.

The appropriate procedure will be determined by the physician. Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for orthopedic surgery.

Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) of The Shoulder

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Treatment

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) of the shoulder is a type of autoimmune disease which causes your body to start attacking healthy cells. This type of arthritis focuses specifically on cells in the joints as if they were an intruder or disease. This causes the cartilage or tissues in the shoulder to get destroyed, which results in rubbing bones.

RA causes immense pain and swelling in the shoulder area that only worsens over time. There is no known cure for RA as of now. However, there are several treatment options that can help you stay active by managing pain.

Thomas & Bigler Knee and Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, while also serving areas such as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Shoulder

RA causes the joint lining to start swelling when it affects the shoulder. This results in stiffness and pain. The shoulder has two joints, which can both get affected by arthritis. The first joint is the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, in which the collarbone meets the shoulder blade tip. The other is called the glenohumeral joint, where the upper arm bone head fits perfectly into the shoulder blade.

Your physician will first identify the affected joint to help you with the most appropriate and effective treatment. They will also identify the type of arthritis you have. There is no known cause for RA. Environmental factors and genetics are said to play a major role in this disease. While there is no cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis of the shoulder, there are several treatment options that can help you with your pain.

Nonsurgical Options for Pain Management

Your physician will initially employ nonsurgical methods to treat RA of the shoulder. These are a few common options:

  • Rest
  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications)
  • Physical therapy
  • Moist heat
  • Corticosteroid injections for reducing pain and swelling
  • Icing the shoulder
  • Methotrexate and other disease modifying drugs
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and other biological treatments, like Orencia, Remicade, Enbrel, Humira, Rituxan, Actemra, Cimzia, Kineret, and Simponi.
  • Dietary supplements to relive pain, such as chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine

Surgical Approach

Your physician may recommend getting a surgery if the above-mentioned nonsurgical methods don’t help in relieving pain and other symptoms. Surgical approach to treating RA of the shoulder involves the following:

  • Tendon repair: Joint damage and inflammation can cause the tendons around the shoulder joint to rupture or loosen. The tendons would be repaired in this surgical procedure.
  • Joint fusion: You may need to realign or stabilize a joint by surgically fusing it. This helps in relieving pain when joint replacement is no longer an option.
  • Total joint replacement: Your surgeon, during a joint replacement surgery will remove the damaged parts of the joint and insert a plastic or metal prosthetic.

The surgical procedure chosen by your physician will depend on the severity and extent of your RA of the shoulder. Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for orthopedic surgery.

Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder Replacement

Reverse total shoulder replacement is an alternative treatment to usual shoulder replacement. The procedure was designed for people with large tears in their rotator cuff. Reverse total shoulder replacement works the same way as regular procedures. However, the joint in this is placed upside down. When the joint is attached in reverse, the arm is moved by different muscles. This is the primary reason for the alignment to work in a better way.

Different muscles are required to move the arm when the rotator cuff gets badly torn or is beyond repair. This can happen with the help of a reverse total shoulder replacement and not after a standard shoulder replacement.

Thomas & Bigler Knee and Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, while also serving areas such as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.

Understanding Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Regular or conventional shoulder replacement makes use of devices that mimic the real anatomy of the human shoulder. A metal ball is fitted to the humerus (upper arm bone) and a plastic cup is attached to the glenoid (shoulder socket).

The metal ball and socket switch their places in a reverse total shoulder replacement. The plastic cup is attached on the humerus’ upper end while the metal ball is attached to the socket. This is why the surgery is called reverse total shoulder replacement.

The procedure works wonders for people with rotator cuff tear since it relies on using different muscles to move the arm. The rotator cuff in healthy shoulders helps power and position the arm during a wide range of motion. Patients with large tears in their rotator cuff lose movement of these muscles. Deltoid muscles are used in reverse total shoulder replacement instead of the rotator cuff for powering and positioning the arm.

Surgical Treatment

Reverse total shoulder replacement procedure usually takes anywhere from 2 to 3 hours. Your surgeon will make an incision at the top or front of the shoulder. They will remove the damaged fragments and position new bone components for restoring function to the shoulder. This includes a plastic cup and a metal ball.

The medical team upon completing the surgery will give you several antibiotic doses for reducing the risk of infection. They will also prescribe pain medication so that you don’t feel any discomfort. Most patients can get out of the bed the same day and eat solid food.

Recovering from a Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

Your arm would need to be kept in a sling once you leave the hospital. You should ensure that you don’t put any weight on your arm if you want it to heal quickly. You should allow it to rest completely.

The surgeon may ask you to perform a wide range of gentle exercises for increasing endurance and mobility. You may also have to undergo a formal physical therapy program for increasing strength in your shoulder and improving flexibility.

Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for orthopedic surgery.

Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada

Shoulder Joint Tear (Glenoid Labrum Tear)

Glenoid Labrum Tear Treatment

Glenoid labrum tear refers to an injury in which the cartilage lining the shoulder tears causing pain and other symptoms. The injury is usually due to an impact trauma, such as a direct blow to the shoulder or a fall. It may occur over time as well from playing sports that involve a lot of shoulder movement.

Fortunately, glenoid labrum tear can be treated in both surgical and nonsurgical way. Often times, surgical procedures are recommended if the symptoms fail to go away or if the tear is severe.

Thomas & Bigler Knee and Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, while also serving areas such as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.

Understanding a Glenoid Labrum Tears

Shoulder joint tears or glenoid labrum tears refers to a tear in the cartilage reinforcing or lining the shoulder joint. Shoulder socket injuries are generally caused by repetitive shoulder motions or acute trauma. This can be by falls or direct blows to the shoulder. It can also occur because of a violent overhead reach or a sudden pull.

Weight lifters and throwing athletes are susceptible to such tears because of the repetitive shoulder motions required by their sport. Glenoid larum tears can happen below (inferior) or above (superior) the center of the glenoid socket. It may tear entirely or partially.

Symptoms of Glenoid Labrum Tear

Glenoid labrum tears can result in the following symptoms:

  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Instability in the shoulder
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Strength loss
  • Occasional pain during the night
  • Pain while performing daily activities
  • Pain during overhead activities
  • Sensation that the shoulder is locking, catching, grinding or popping

Nonsurgical Options

Your physician will ask you to rest and prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to relieve symptoms until a diagnosis is made. They may also recommend rehabilitation exercises to strengthen and improve flexibility in your rotator cuff muscles.

Nonsurgical methods are often effective at relieving symptoms. They also help in healing the injured bone structure. Your doctor may recommend getting a surgery if the nonsurgical measures are inadequate.

Surgical Treatment for Glenoid Labrum Tear

The physician, depending on the injury may choose a traditional arthroscopic or open procedure. In this the surgeon will use miniature instruments and small incisions. The doctor will assess and examine the biceps tendon and the rim completely during both the surgeries.

The shoulder is stable if the surgeon only looks at the rim and doesn’t examine the tendon. The torn flap will be removed if the shoulder is stable to fix all problems. The biceps tendon may be considered unstable if the tear extends all the way down to the biceps tendon or if the tendon gets completely detached.

The tendon will need to be transferred using absorbable sutures, screws and tacks or repaired if this is the case. Tears below the socket require the ligament to be reattached. The shoulder is then tightened by pleating the tissues.

Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for orthopedic surgery.

Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada

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702.933.9393
9499 West Charleston, Suite 200
Las Vegas, NV 89117