If your shoulder aches and can't move like it should, whether from arthritis, a sports injury or other condition, you want relief from the most skilled orthopedic experts.
The Christ Hospital's shoulder program provides exceptional care—plus a growing research focus is generating innovative treatments and techniques.
Patients travel from around the country to consult with Paul Favorito, MD, and his team. Dr. Favorito is Division Chief of Shoulder and Upper Extremity Service at The Christ Hospital.
Creativity sparks better techniques to help your shoulder heal
An expanded focus on research is one reason you'll find the latest, smartest shoulder treatment at The Christ Hospital. A formal shoulder research plan was finalized through The Lindner Center for Research and Education in May. The plan includes a multicenter study on rotator cuff repair and several research trials and programs that were already in place.
Dr. Favorito credits the team for the success of their therapies and procedures He says, "The program's accomplishments all come down to this extraordinary team."
Creativity is also necessary for investigating improved procedures and technology.
"My brother is a designer for Fisher-Price and spends his days trying to make or improve toys," says Dr. Favorito. "As a physician, I also have a natural curiosity. I consider how I might contribute improvements to the science. I look at a tool or procedure and think, 'I wonder if there's a better way.' If so, we can offer our patients better treatment and superior results."
Patients at The Christ Hospital benefit because clinicians are involved in creating new approaches to treatment.
On the horizon: New techniques for shoulder replacement and rotator cuff repairs
If you've hurt your shoulder during sports or at work, you may need a rotator cuff repair or shoulder replacement.
Allison Rao, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with subspecialty training in sports medicine, is overseeing research into how to do these procedures even better. Dr. Rao applies her extensive research into sports-related shoulder injuries.
"One of the complications of rotator cuff surgery is the high rate of reinjury or retear after the procedure," explains Dr. Rao. "It's crucial to improve our surgical techniques."
Using innovation to manage pain—and fight opioid addiction
If you need shoulder surgery, our team will use groundbreaking methods to manage your pain—and minimize the use of narcotics that can lead to addiction.
"Post-operative pain management is a serious topic. Southwest Ohio is close to the national epicenter of the opioid epidemic. Too much opioid use can lead to addiction," says Dr. Favorito.
He's a pioneer in an alternative pain management option—the use of long-acting nerve blocks as a local anesthetic during surgery. Dr. Favorito advocates for using Exparel, a single injection, long-acting regional block that provides a minimum of 24 hours and as much as 96 hours of pain relief.
The chief of anesthesia at The Christ Hospital, Mike Powell, MD, is also passionate about decreasing the use of opioids to reduce pain and collaborates with Dr. Favorito in this mission.
"The complications with opioids are numerous, and too many patients and families are at risk," says Dr. Powell. "Using a long-acting nerve block was a true renaissance in protocols for a non-narcotic approach. It was the turnkey to the revolution in opioid reduction and improving patient satisfaction."
"We all but eliminate their pain, educate them on what to expect, and for any discomfort direct them to non-opioid medications like Tylenol and ibuprofen," says Dr. Powell.
"Our patients do not go home and suffer for three days: that's not what we're doing," explains Dr. Favorito. "We're making sure they are extremely comfortable without narcotics – even pain free."
Sharing the knowledge and innovation
To help more people benefit from innovation, Dr. Favorito has traveled around the world to teach physicians about new products and techniques.
"Even the most valuable product is not helpful if a surgeon doesn't know how to use it," says Dr. Favorito.
Regionally, Dr. Favorito and two surgeons from other hospital systems oversee a fellowship training program at The Christ Hospital. They were selected by the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons.
The Shoulder and Upper Extremity Service is a thriving part of The Christ Hospital Joint & Spine Center.
Do you have debilitating shoulder pain? Learn more about shoulder care at The Christ Hospital or schedule an appointment online.