How to find an orthopedist expert in tennis shoulder injuries?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by corners, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. corners

    corners Legend

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    I've had nagging shoulder pain for some time and I think it's time to see an orthopedist. How does one go about finding one that either specializes in, or has a lot of experience treating the shoulders of tennis players? I would imagine that a doc working with throwers (baseball players, etc.) would also be useful.
     
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  2. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
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  3. sabala

    sabala Semi-Pro

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    Look up orthos who work with college sports teams.

    For example, I found an ortho at UCLA Orthopedic Center who specializes in knee/shoulder, (I have issues with both) and he has has been a medical consultant to the United States Tennis Association and the US Open. He is currently an assistant team physician for the UCLA Athletic Department.

    I wouldn't think you need to find someone who specializes in tennis though - just specializes in shoulder injuries.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
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  4. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    That's true if you're willing to give up tennis. If you intend to continue playing, then chances are you're going to need someone to tell you what aspect of your motion is causing the irritation. While it's possible that you have perfect form that an old shoulder cannot handle without surgical treatment, it's more likely that you have an imperfect motion that is putting more stress than necessary on the shoulder -- and a doctor who doesn't specialize in tennis injuries is not going to be able to tell you what you're doing wrong. (Neither will the average teaching pro, for that matter.)

    You'll probably end up having to become the expert yourself.
     
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  5. corners

    corners Legend

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    Good points Frank. I'm pretty sure, though, what I've done wrong, technique-wise to get to this point. But I also don't want to waste time going down wrong tracks with doctors that don't have a lot of experience with tennis injuries, or throwing injuries. The old saying - half the doctors you see graduated in the bottom 50% of their class - holds true in my experience. Always pays to find the best, most experienced doctor, if you can.
     
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  6. sabala

    sabala Semi-Pro

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    You can also just check around for doctor referrals.

    Ask teaching pros, other players, club employees or coaches if they know a good ortho. When I was working at a tennis club years ago and developed wrist problems, my boss (the head pro) gave me his ortho doctor's name.

    If you know of orthopedic centers in your area, look up their websites and read up on the doctors backgrounds. Call the office and ask if any are familiar with tennis injuries by chance. For example, here is where I'm looking at...

    http://ortho.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=42



    If you do have damage to your shoulder, do you think just by changing to a correct technique and continuing to play (with a still damaged shoulder) will automatically repair whatever damage is in there? Maybe - if it's just an aggravated rotator cuff...who knows?

    Speaking for myself - I don't care what improper technique may or may not have caused my shoulder to keep hurting (even after a whole year of not playing tennis). I just want a diagnosis of what the problem is and then get on to physical therapy for it. I'll worry about technique/poly strings/racket tension later when I'm healed.

    Btw Corners - have you just tried taking some time off and resting? Like not playing for a couple weeks or so?
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
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  7. pdx_tennisplayer

    pdx_tennisplayer New User

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    Usually, each Ortho's office has knee specialists and also 1 Shoulder 'specialist'. In Portland, OR where I live, I had to do extensive research to find the 'right' guy. You want a guy/lady who does almost nothing but shoulders. Mine also did other stuff on the arm/hands but mostly shoulders. After talking to other tennis players here, I found the best guy but he was so backed up it was literally 4 months to see him in the office.

    So I went with someone who could see me quicker and who could operate (yes, torn rotator cuff) so I could get back on the court quicker.

    Most of them will always suggest PT/rest first. Going under the knife is only done if the tendon is more than 50% torn (I'm talking the common Supraspinatus). Good luck to you!

    John
     
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  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    When I was having shoulder issues, I got a friend to video tape my serve. The issue was very easy to spot. A lighter racket is also easier on serves.
     
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