Rest, icepacks, sling and ant-inflammatory drugs is the usual prescription for people who have injured and dislocated their shoulders. It would quite naturally be thought that the last thing a young athletic person would need is surgery. However, there is increasing evidence especially from military fitness test assessments that shows surgical intervention to be the best option – to the point that non-surgery could be deemed negligent.
Shoulder injuries in older patients are more likely to be missed or misdiagnosed. Further older patients are more likely to receive injuries to the rotator cuff as ageing renders these tissues more brittle and liable to tear. Older patients may also be more reluctant to explore the surgical options, which is unfortunate because traditional treatments are not likely to fix the problem.
The rotator cuff plays a minimal role in shoulder stability in older patients. In younger patient the ligaments and other tissues which are most commonly involved in shoulder dislocation are also responsible for shoulder stability, which means that there is the risk of another dislocation.
Dr Murthi writing in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says, "If older patients have shoulder pain that is not relieved with rest, ice and anti-inflammatories, then they should seek out treatment by a shoulder specialist or orthopaedic surgeon. This is especially true if they've recently had trauma to the shoulder."
Source: Science Daily