SHOULDER CARE

When the shoulder is injured, it disrupts everything in our life. The orthopedic surgeons and doctors at CRO specialize in treating all shoulder injuries. Our physicians are nationally recognized leaders in their surgical field, helping to initiate and design new shoulder surgery techniques.

Many shoulder injuries happen while engaged in favorite sports activities – football, baseball, tennis, soccer, and more. Other injuries to the shoulder occur after years of wear and tear.
 
The shoulder offers more motion than any other joint in the body, which gives it tremendous versatility. We throw with our shoulders, we swim, we hit tennis balls, we lift groceries, we drive, and we even put on our shirts all while using our shoulders.

Some of the shoulder conditions our orthopedic doctors treat include:

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Dr. Hardayal Singh

Director of Shoulder Services

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Dr. Robert C. Martin

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ACROMIOCLAVICULAR JOINT ARTHRITIS

AC arthritis is a chronic inflammation of the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, one of the four joints that work together in the complex system that makes up the shoulder. Like most cases of arthritis, AC arthritis happens when the cartilage protecting certain bones within the joint wears thin.

Treatment of AC arthritis depends on the severity of symptoms and the presence of other shoulder problems including impingement syndrome, glenohumeral arthritis, and muscular injury such as a rotator cuff tear. If the symptoms of AC arthritis are mild to moderate, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy are the most common conservative measures. Your doctor may inject the AC joint with local anesthetic or steroids to see if your symptoms improve.

 

SHOULDER BURSITIS

Inside each of your shoulders is a tiny, fluid-filled sac known as a bursa. Bursae help reduce friction between the bones in your joints. If the bursa in your shoulder becomes inflamed, it leads to a condition known as shoulder bursitis.

Causes can include injury, overuse, or medical conditions that cause joint inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Shoulder bursitis is also known as “subacromial bursitis.” It can be treated in a variety of ways, both at home and in a doctor’s office. Another option is corticosteroid injections around the bursa. However, you can only have a limited number of these injections because they increase the likelihood that you could rupture your tendon.

 

FROZEN SHOULDER

Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, is a painful condition in which the movement of the shoulder becomes limited. Frozen shoulder occurs when the strong connective tissue surrounding the shoulder joint (called the shoulder joint capsule) becomes thick, stiff, and inflamed. (The joint capsule contains the ligaments that attach the top of the upper arm bone [humeral head] to the shoulder socket [glenoid], firmly holding the joint in place. This is more commonly known as the "ball and socket" joint.)

The condition is called "frozen" shoulder because the more pain that is felt, the less likely the shoulder will be used. Lack of use causes the shoulder capsule to thicken and becomes tight, making the shoulder even more difficult to move -- it is "frozen" in its position.

 

IMPINGEMENT SYNDROME

Shoulder impingement syndrome is a common cause of shoulder pain. It occurs when there is impingement of tendons or bursa in the shoulder from bones of the shoulder. Overhead activity of the shoulder, especially repeated activity, is a risk factor for shoulder impingement syndrome. Examples include painting, lifting, swimming, tennis, and other overhead sports. Other risk factors include bone and joint abnormalities.

With impingement syndrome, pain is persistent and affects everyday activities. Motions such as reaching up behind the back or reaching up overhead to put on a coat or blouse, for example, may cause pain. Over time, impingement syndrome can lead to inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons (tendinitis) and bursa (bursitis). If not treated appropriately, the rotator cuff tendons can start to thin and tear.

Oral anti-inflammatory medications -- such as aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen, remain the most common treatment for impingement syndrome. The medicines are usually given for six to eight weeks since it often takes that long to fully treat the problem. You should do this under the care of a doctor because these medications can cause stomach irritation and bleeding. There is no preferred medication for this condition as a response to any given medication differs from person to person. If one anti-inflammatory medication does not help within 10 to 14 days, then another one will be given until one that provides relief is found.

 

ROTATOR CUFF TEAR

A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that stabilize the shoulder and allow it to move.  Visualize the head of the arm bone as a golf ball and the area of the shoulder blade as a golf tee. The rotator cuff serves as a sleeve that enables the ball to spin and roll while remaining on the tee.

Repetitive, overhead motions can wear down the rotator cuff muscles and are thus a common cause of injury. This is why athletes such as baseball pitchers frequently have shoulder issues. A traumatic injury, such as falling onto your arm, can also cause injury. Regardless of how it happens, the risk of a rotator cuff tear increases as we age, and the wear on our bodies accumulates.

Conservative treatments — such as rest, ice, and physical therapy — sometimes are all that's needed to recover from a rotator cuff injury. If your injury is severe, you might need surgery.