You as an individual
Every patient is an individual with their own needs and expectations, just as every shoulder condition requires its own approach and treatment plan. Whilst the best treatment is always the aim, the best suited treatment for each individual often works much better.
Throughout your visit(s) with Dr. Ho, we would like to know your concerns and be able to assess your shoulder condition(s) comprehensively. While surgical options are available for many shoulder conditions, some conditions may respond better to specific non-operative treatment.
If it comes to surgery, the timing can be important. Some people may not require an operation right away whilst for others it is best to have an operation early to achieve a good result. Therefore, all the more reason to come in for a full assessment and to spend time discussing your options to work out a plan of treatment specifically for you.
Most patients experience shoulder symptoms such as pain, loss of function and difficulty using the shoulder for various activities. Unfortunately, the location of shoulder pain does not provide a reliable guide as to the real problem in the shoulder. Investigations in form of scans and x-rays are often necessary.
It is a good idea to visit your family doctor who can look into this for you in the first place. Many shoulder conditions are well within the capacity of your family doctors to manage. For more urgent conditions or if your shoulder fails to improve, please obtain a referral from your GP to see a shoulder specialist.
Length of stay in
Many shoulder operations are now carried out with arthroscopic (keyhole) means and the patient usually goes home within 24 hours.
Dr Ho operates in the afternoon and his patients usually go home the following morning.
Patients having a Total Shoulder Replacement (a new artificial joint) can also often go home the next morning, especially those who enjoy good health and fitness.
How long does it take to recover from a shoulder operation?
While the hospital stay for a shoulder operation is usually short, the recovery time afterwards tends to be lengthy. This is because the shoulder has to work against gravity in many actions and needs to heal strongly before it can be freely used. This is true in the case of a shoulder reconstruction, shoulder replacement or a repair of torn tendons. After these operations, the shoulder will be protected in an arm sling for up to 6 weeks.
A post-operative physiotherapy program will usually be followed for 3 to 4 months. The common advice is to wait 6 months before returning to sports and manual use. For operations of a lesser nature such as shaving of bone spurs, removal of calcium deposits and decompression for impingement, the recovery time will be much quicker.
Feeling nervous about an operation?
It is quite natural to feel a bit nervous and anxious about having an operation. Dr. Ho will spend time with you to explain the details of the operation, the preparation and the aftercare. His experienced staff will guide you through the hospital booking process. Feel free to ask any questions you may have or perhaps bring a family member or friend with you to your consultation.
An extra pair of ears will go a long way! It is also very helpful for the people close to you to know how best to help you at home after the operation. For patients who live alone, there are special agencies who offer help with meals, transport, personal care, housework etc.