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Western Orthopaedics in Denver Blends Innovative Techniques to Provide a Spectrum of Shoulder Care
Date:4/7/2009

Regional Shoulder Patients Benefit from Personalized Attention

DENVER, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Armodios Hatzidakis, a shoulder and elbow specialist at Western Orthopaedics, specializes in a spectrum of shoulder procedures including everything from a 45-minute technique called shoulder resurfacing to a reversed shoulder replacement that relieves pain, restores shoulder function and improves range of motion.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, there are a range of non-surgical and surgical options to address various chronic shoulder problems and stages of pain. Patients initially opt for a first-line treatment that includes pain medication and/or physical therapy -- depending on the level of pain and the severity of injury. If initial non-surgical treatment is ineffective for chronic shoulder pain, there are surgical options to consider.

Choosing to proceed with surgery can be a daunting challenge. "Taking the time to listen, to truly listen to each patient is one of the most important factors in making the right decision," says Dr. Hatzidakis. "Today the average physician spends seven minutes with a patient. That is often not enough time to ask the right questions, understand the day-to-day issues and adequately counsel a patient about their care. I'm committed to effective communication with my patients. Whether counseling patients on a host of non-surgical treatments, performing arthroscopic ('scope') surgery or a more complex shoulder replacement, the goal is to offer patients the best option so they can return to pain-free daily living and the activities that they enjoy," added Hatzidakis.

The resurfacing shoulder implant is a conservative and more gradual approach to shoulder replacement. It is typically done on patients with earlier stage shoulder problems and is designed to restore the normal anatomy of the joint while improving range of motion with minimal bone resection.

"When I was about 23 years old, I had two arthroscopic shoulder procedures by another surgeon," said Tyler Van Eps. "Although my shoulder felt a little better for a short time, I quickly started to lose my range of motion. By the time I called Dr. Hatzidakis, I could barely lift my arm," continued Van Eps. "Dr. Hatzidakis explained everything fully so I always felt well informed. Through the resurfacing procedure, he made the roughened arthritic ball of my shoulder smooth again. Thanks to him, I have near full range of motion and I'm now in the police academy."

Another procedure, called reversed shoulder replacement, is used on patients with severely torn rotator cuffs due to injury, aging, overuse, or severe arthritis. Typically performed on patients with more advanced shoulder problems, this procedure is a total joint replacement and allows patients the use of their deltoid muscle to lift their arm again.

"I've had six shoulder surgeries over the last 35 years and significant pain from my traumatic injuries and procedures. By the time I was referred to Dr. Hatzidakis, my shoulder was infected and in very bad shape," says Dr. Robert Scaer. "As a physician myself, I certainly was aware of the complexities of my condition. I had a totally detached rotator cuff and all the worst things that go along with it. Dr. Hatzidakis took an aggressive approach treating my infection first," says Dr. Scaer. "It's now been about 10 months since my reversed shoulder procedure. I'm exercising regularly and my range of motion and strength are improving daily. I'm now riding my bicycle regularly and I'm looking forward to skiing again."

About Shoulder Conditions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year nearly 14 million people seek care for shoulder problems. Many of these shoulder conditions are typically caused by repetitive motion, trauma and arthritis. Dr. Hatzidakis and his partners at Western Orthopaedics see patients of all ages and note that many include young athletes, aging baby boomers who exercise frequently, and older patients who experience shoulder problems due to trauma, arthritis, or torn rotator cuffs. Shoulder pain directly affects the quality of life for many of his patients and causes sleep deprivation, functional loss and a significant change in lifestyle.

About Western Orthopaedics

Western Orthopaedics PC, one of the oldest continuous orthopaedic practices in Denver, is a group of physicians who have specialized expertise in the surgical and non-surgical management of all musculoskeletal conditions. For more information, visit http://www.western-ortho.com.


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SOURCE Western Orthopaedics
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