Common Shoulder Conditions & Treatments
About the shoulder joint
The shoulder provides more flexibility than any other part of the body. The three bones of the shoulder are the humerus, the scapula (shoulder blade), and the clavicle (collar bone).
The top portion of the scapula, the acromion, attaches to the clavicle, or collar bone. The end of the scapula, called the glenoid, holds the ball-like head of the humerus in place and acts as a flexible ball-and-socket joint. The labrum, a cup-shaped rim of cartilage, lines and reinforces the joint.
Four short muscles originate on the scapula and pass around the shoulder where their tendons fuse together to form the rotator cuff.
What are some of the common causes of shoulder pain?
The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body and is made up of a complex system of muscles, ligaments, and bones. Because the shoulder joint is so mobile it is also susceptible to various types of strains and injuries.
- Fracture of the upper arm bone, clavicle, or scapula
- Rotator cuff tears
- Frozen shoulder
- Brachial neuritis
- Shoulder impingement
- Shoulder dislocation
- Bicep tendon tear or rupture
- SLAP tear (labrum tears)
- Bankart lesions
- AC (Acromioclavicular) joint injuries
In many cases, shoulder pain is the result of overexertion or muscle soreness and subsides within a few days with ice and rest.
What causes shoulder pain?
Your shoulder is vulnerable to a wide range of injuries and degenerative conditions. You can develop overuse injuries by performing the same movement repeatedly. For example, an athlete could develop rotator cuff problems, muscle strain by overtraining and not taking enough time to rest. You can also have an acute shoulder injury. You might have shoulder dislocation or a fracture from a sports-related or automobile accident. Some patients have shoulder injuries from falling.
It’s also possible for daily wear and tear and genetics to contribute to degenerative shoulder conditions like arthritis.
When should I talk to an orthopedic shoulder specialist?
You should make an appointment with an expert shoulder orthopedic surgeon at OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio if your shoulder problems interfere with your quality of life. If shoulder pain, shoulder instability, or reduced shoulder mobility get in the way of your regular activities, it’s time to talk to a physician.
How is the cause of my shoulder pain diagnosed?
Your physician at OrthoNeuro begins with a comprehensive physical exam. They look for signs of injury, such as inflammation or shoulder deformity. Your orthopedic shoulder specialist also tests your shoulder strength and mobility to determine any limitations and the potential impact on your life.
When necessary, the team uses diagnostic imaging studies such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to visualize the inside of your shoulder joint. They may also use diagnostic shoulder arthroscopy for an even more detailed view of the inside of your shoulder.
These tests allow your physician to understand your needs and create a personalized treatment plan to repair your shoulder and restore its function.
What are my treatment options for shoulder pain?
The orthopedic surgeons and shoulder specialists at OrthoNeuro provide expert treatment options for shoulder problems. They offer compassionate and innovative patient care to address your specific needs.
In some cases, the RICE method is all that’s needed to repair your shoulder. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Many minor shoulder problems end up worsening when patients don’t allow enough time to rest and recover.
The surgeons at OrthoNeuro incorporate physical therapy into shoulder treatment programs when it is needed. In some cases, physical therapy can combine with other nonsurgical treatments such as anti-inflammatory drugs, regenerative medicine, or joint injections, to effectively heal your shoulder problem.
Additionally, if you need shoulder surgery, you will also need physical therapy afterward to maintain shoulder joint mobility and then restore your strength and a full range of motion.
Shoulder arthroscopy is a commonly performed minimally invasive procedure that treats many shoulder injuries. Modern surgical techniques and equipment allow the Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons at OrthoNeuro to perform shoulder surgeries that were once open procedures now through small incisions. Small cameras and surgical instruments are placed within the shoulder so that your surgeon is able to repair damaged tendons or bones through tiny incisions.
Rotator cuff surgery
A rotator cuff repair is a surgical procedure to repair a partially or completely torn rotator cuff. The goal of a rotator cuff repair is to repair the torn tendons using small sutures to create strength and stability in the tendon. Once the sutures are put in place, small anchors are used to reattach the tendon to its original position within the shoulder joint.
Total shoulder replacement
Total shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure that removes osteoarthritic bone and replaces it with metal and plastic components. These components mimic the anatomy and function of a healthy shoulder so that you can return to activities without the pain caused by arthritis. Total shoulder replacement is very effective at restoring range of motion and improving quality of life.
Reverse shoulder replacement
A reverse shoulder replacement is a procedure mainly performed on older patients who suffer rotator cuff tear arthropathy. A reverse total shoulder replacement switches the position of the metal ball and socket. Your surgeon attaches the metal ball to the glenoid and the cup to the top of your humerus.
How long does recovery take?
The duration of your recovery depends on the type and severity of your shoulder condition. The treatment option you and your shoulder specialist choose can also affect how long it takes to achieve your full recovery. You will need to have physical therapy to restore your shoulder strength and mobility. It’s critical to follow your doctors’ instructions after any shoulder injury or surgical treatment.
If you have severe shoulder pain and stiffness that prevents you from moving your shoulder correctly, call OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio, or request an appointment online for expert orthopedic shoulder treatments.