There are a number of reason why surgical intervention isn’t the best option for your dislocated shoulder, unless it’s a severe case.
A new study, recently published in the Journal of Orthopedic Trauma pinpoints a few considerations on why non-intervention may be better for your dislocated shoulder or acromioclavicular dislocation (AC). A number of patients typically choose surgical repair following such an injury as a dislocated shoulder. It is the most followed course of action with the majority of patients. However, it might turn out to be detrimental from some perspectives.
Acromioclavicular dislocation is most commonly met in patients who sustained a fall, practice sports or have been involved in accidents. Located right between the blade of the shoulder and the collarbone, the acromioclavicular joint is easily predisposed to injuries. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may be fixed simply through rehabilitation routines and wearing a sling. Or it may require the touch of an orthopedic surgeon.
Yet, the new study suggests that surgical intervention isn’t the best option for your dislocated shoulder. Surgically correcting the position of the acromioclavicular joint involves introducing a plate that will sustain it while being screwed to the bones.
For the study, Doctor Michael McKee with the Saint Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and his team selected 83 patients. All presented dislocated shoulders. The patients were split in two groups, each with its respective treatment. 43 of the patients followed rehabilitation routines and were asked to wear a sling. The other 40 patients received surgical intervention.
Looking to understand the benefits and drawbacks of the two courses of action in comparison, the research team followed the patients regularly. Two follow-ups, one at six weeks after their respective assigned treatment and one after three months showed significant differences.
From the non-intervention group, 75 percent were able to return to their jobs after three months. From the surgical intervention group, only 43 percent did the same. Mobility in the shoulder was higher in the first group compared to the second.
Moreover, the surgical intervention group had a higher rate of medical complications, including infections or displacement of the fixing plate. Seven patients of the 40 in this group experienced some problems. Other reported numbness throughout the healing process.
The only benefit reported in the second group compared to the first was the aspect of the previously dislocated shoulder. In the non-intervention group, 21 percent of the people complained that it looks deformed.
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