An experienced shoulder doctor will be able to effectively diagnose and treat your shoulder condition in a way that minimizes discomfort and recovery time. For residents of Ephrata, PA, Dr. Michael J Bercik and our team at Lancaster Orthopedics are a perfect choice. We combine years of experience with a dedication to learning the latest scientific methods to offer our patients state-of-the-art care.

Shoulder Doctor Ephrata, PADr. Michael Bercik has completed international fellowships in both France and Australia, allowing him to learn different techniques from around the world and go beyond traditional orthopedic methods to treat every patient with an advanced skillset. When studying in France, Dr. Bercik worked at the world-renowned Centre Orthopédique Santy in France, where he trained under Dr. Gilles Wach. Dr. Gilles Walch is widely known as one of the most influential shoulder surgeons in the world, and Dr. Bercik was able to carefully learn his techniques and bring them back here to the East Coast.

Dr. Bercik’s fellowship experience has given him a broad toolset to treat any ailment of the shoulder or elbow and provide patients with a variety of options. We understand every patient has a unique experience and lifestyle, and we pride ourselves on working closely with patients to determine the best treatment plan for them. 

Rotator Cuff Tear: Nonsurgical vs Surgical Treatment 

Rotator cuff injuries are one condition of the shoulder that is not able to fully heal without surgery. However, that being said, many patients are able to strengthen surrounding shoulder muscles and effectively reduce pain and relieve symptoms. Typically, about 80% of patients with partial tears can relieve symptoms in a year or less with nonsurgical treatment. These treatment options include:

  • Resting the shoulder
  • Using an arm sling
  • Modifying activities as to not aggravate the injury
  • Physical therapy to strengthen surrounding tissues
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to relieve pain and swelling
  • Steroid injections to relieve pain and swelling

Sometimes, surgery is recommended by orthopedic shoulder specialists based on the severity of the injury and whether nonsurgical methods are effectively relieving symptoms. If you have a complete tear, you will usually be recommended surgical intervention.

Most rotator cuff surgeries are done through small incisions in the shoulder, a method of surgery known as arthroscopic surgery. This method helps to minimize damage to surrounding tissues and speeds recovery time. If you have this type of surgery, it is an outpatient procedure, and you can go home on the same day. However, recovery time can take up to one year. For a partial tear, your orthopedic surgeon may trim the fraying pieces of the tendon and complete any debridement of scar tissue to help the joint move more freely.

If the tear is severe or has been present for so long that is not able to be effectively repaired through surgery, a shoulder replacement, debridement of scar tissue, or tendon transfer may be necessary.

Following surgery, you will wear a sling to immobilize the shoulder and arm for up to six weeks before starting physical therapy. Shoulder function and strength should be regained within four to six months and full recovery within about a year.

Let’s Begin!

To get started today, residents of Ephrata, PA, can contact our Lancaster Orthopedic office near them. When looking for an experienced shoulder doctor, there is no better choice than Dr. Michael Bercik. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bercik, please click the “Schedule An Appointment” link in the top right of the website or call (866) 564-1000.