Shoulder Blues

The most flexible joint in your body is sometimes the most troublesome.

Shoulder surgeryYou don’t have to be a pro athlete or even a weekend one to experience shoulder problems. Sometimes all it takes is overuse from repetitive activities, or osteoarthritis may set in and cause degeneration and tearing of the rotator cuff — the group of muscles and tendons that stabilizes the ball of the shoulder within the joint.

According to Andrew Neviaser, MD, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the George Washington University Hospital, all rotator cuff tears do not need to be treated with surgery; some can be treated with physical therapy.

“The small differences in patients and types of tears need to be considered, and understanding the natural history of the tear is important in knowing which ones may get worse over time,” says Dr. Neviaser.

If surgery is recommended, the comprehensive Orthopaedic Department at GW Hospital is nationally and internationally recognized for its expertise in providing quality care for all kinds of shoulder problems. Here, physicians design programs based on research in affiliation with the George Washington University. “We have people dedicated to studying shoulder surgery,” says Dr. Neviaser. “In fact, GW Hospital is at the forefront of study in this area.”

“We have an excellent reputation gained from doing a huge volume of procedures,” says Robert J. Neviaser, MD, Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery. “Because we’re a teaching hospital, our ability to treat shoulder problems is constantly evolving.”

Therapy Dogs: A Rehab Patient’s Best Friend

Therapy DogOrthopaedic patients in the George Washington University Hospital rehabilitation unit sometimes get uncommon help. The assistants are easily recognized, wearing green National Capital Therapy Dog vests and hospital-issued ID badges.

Therapy dogs (and their handlers) undergo special training and require a unique personality. “Patients look forward to working with the therapy dogs, and may be more motivated to participate in an activity that is difficult or work with a limb that has lost strength,” says Kelly Pratt, Clinical Coordinator of the Acute Rehab Unit. “Those who are pet owners especially like it — it helps them work hard so they can return home to their animals.”

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Meet the
Robert Neviaser Robert J. Neviaser, MD
Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery
Andrew Neviaser Andrew Neviaser, MD
Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
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Find out more about ways in which GW Hospital’s rehabilitation facilities can help you after surgery, injury or serious illness.

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at GW Hospital

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery offers a full range of surgical and nonsurgical treatment of orthopaedic problems.

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The George Washington University Hospital is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.(UHS), a King of Prussia, PA-based company, that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation.          

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