New treatments for shoulder pain

From every day wear and tear to falls or on-the-job injuries, shoulder pain can develop into an unbearable part of life. But it does not have to be, thanks to new treatments and new ways of doing shoulder replacements right here in Southwest Louisiana.

62-year-old Barbara Courville can remember the pain that kept her arm frozen to her side for nearly two years.  "It was just a pain," she said, "a constant pain that never went away."

Barbara put up with the pain until it kept her from being able to wrap her arms around her great-grandchild.  "That was getting me down, because I wasn't able to do what I did before," she said.

Center for Orthopaedics surgeon, Dr. Geoffrey Collins, pinpointed the source of Barbara's pain in an MRI, then suggested a shoulder replacement - a procedure that has been transformed in the past 18 months, using a patient-specific plastic head on the ball of the shoulder bone and shorter stem.  "This stem is a new stem that's been out for about a year and a half. The old stem used to come down much further and this is a much less invasive process," said Dr. Collins.

Dr. Collins says injections and therapy programs can treat shoulder pain in its earliest stages, but if left untreated, surgery might be the last option.  "You start not going in the positions that hurt and ultimately, you can have a frozen shoulder," he said, "where it won't go in those positions ever again."

Barbara says she is thrilled she decided to have something done about her pain and there is no stopping her now that she can move again.  "Oh, I'm doing more than what I could do before. It reminds me of the days when I was 30 or 40 again!"

If you have weakness, pain or loss of motion in your arm or shoulder, it is time to see a doctor! To get your shoulder pain questions answered and learn about more treatments to stop the pain, make plans to attend Dr. Collins' free seminar Thursday evening at Center for Orthopaedics on Imperial Boulevard in Lake Charles.  Click here for more information and to reserve your seat.

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