Orthopedic Shoulder Care
Your shoulders are made up of three bones, including the scapula, humerus, and clavicle, which come together in a ball-and socket joint. When functioning as they should, they provide your arms with a great range of motion. Whether rock climbing up a mountain, rocking a baby, or simply picking up a cup of coffee, your shoulders allow you to stretch, lift, and rotate your arms.
While being the most mobile joint in the body makes your shoulders incredibly useful and versatile, this impressive range of motion also makes them the least stable. Age and overuse can leave your shoulders more susceptible to issues like tendonitis and arthritis. Additionally, many sports put extreme force on the shoulders, making them vulnerable to injury.
If shoulder pain or dysfunction is making activities more difficult, our specialists use state-of-the-art technology and years of experience in the field to come to a quick, accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will take time to meet with you personally from day one, so you can get back to your life that much faster.
Common Shoulder Issues We Treat
Any kind of arthritis affecting the shoulder’s acromioclavicular joint, which is a joint at the top of the shoulder that connects the clavicle and the acromion. It can cause pain during reaching motions, especially when stretching the arm overhead. AC arthritis can have a variety of causes, including a previous shoulder injury, degradation from repetitive stress on the joint, past infections, gout, or rheumatic disorders.
The shoulder is the move moveable joint of the body, allowing you to lift and rotate your arm in multiple directions. This great range of motion leaves the shoulder more instable than other joints, making it more susceptible to dislocation. Shoulder dislocation occurs when the upper arm bone pops out of the shoulder blade.
Anterior Shoulder Instability
A condition that sometimes affects people with a previous shoulder dislocation, making the joint vulnerable to recurrent dislocations and chronic instability. Other symptoms may include swelling and tenderness, deformity at the shoulder joint, decreased strength and flexibility, and numbness.
When the space inside the shoulder’s rotator cuff and acromion narrows, this can compress and pinch the muscles and tendons. This causes pain starting in the front of shoulder that can radiate down the arm, especially when reaching overhead.
Rotator Cuff Tear
The rotator cuff is made of up four muscle and tendons that cover the top of the humerus. Activities that require a lot of repetitive overhead motions or sudden trauma to the shoulder can cause tears in any of the muscles or tendons in the rotator cuff.
Rotator Cuff Arthropathy
If a rotator cuff tear is not allowed to fully heal, continued wear and tear on the tendons and muscles over time can cause cartilage loss. Rotator cuff arthropathy is characterized by severe arthritis, weakness, and instability of the shoulder joint.
Superior labral tears occur on the shoulder’s labrum which the rope-like rim on the shoulder socket. They often occur in athletes who repetitively throw balls overhead or lift heavy objects. SLAP injuries are categorized into four different types based on the severity of the tear.
A fracture occurring to any of the three bones in the shoulder. The most common type is a clavicle fracture, which affects the collarbone and most often happens from falling. The other types include scapula fractures and proximal humerus fractures.
Orthopedic Shoulder Treatments
In many cases, shoulder symptoms can be managed with anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, heat, and ice. Incorporating certain shoulder stretches and exercises can sometimes help strengthen and stabilize the shoulder.
With more severe injuries or chronic injuries, surgery may be recommended to help repair severe tears or prevent future issues (such an arthropathy or anterior shoulder instability) to occur. For patients with shoulder arthritis, a shoulder replacement surgery can help ease pain and restore functioning to the degenerated joint.