The rotator cuff is a complex structure in the shoulder made of the tendons from 4 muscles which come together to form a 'hood' around the top of the humerus (upper arm bone), and its job is to help power the shoulder motion as well as help control that motion. The rotator cuff is a frequent source of pain in the shoulder and arm, sometimes from injury, sometimes from overuse, and often for no identifiable reason. The pain may come from inflammation or degeneration, but frequently actual tearing occurs when one or more tendons become detached from the bone. Rotator cuff tears may actually be asymptomatic, but often cause pain and/or weakness. Depending on a number of factors, including the severity of the symptoms and a patient's age, surgical (arthroscopic, mini-open, or open) or non-surgical treatment may be recommended by the doctor. For more information please click here.
The rotator cuff is a complex structure in the shoulder made of the tendons from 4 muscles, which come together to form a 'hood around the top of the humerus (upper arm bone), and its job is to help power the shoulder motion as well as help control that motion. The rotator cuff is a frequent source of pain in the shoulder and arm, sometimes from injury, sometimes from overuse, and often for no identifiable reason. Most often the pain is from inflammation or degeneration in the cuff itself or the bursa, which overlies the tendons. The pain is usually most troublesome during use of the arm overhead or out in front of the body or repetitive use, although the ache can be there at any time, it often occurs at night. Non-surgical treatment with anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), exercises, cortisone shots, or physical therapy is successful in most patients, although occasionally surgery is warranted for recalcitrant pain. For more information please click here.
Shoulder dislocation occurs when the shoulder ball (humeral head) 'pops out' of the shallow socket (glenoid), usually from a fairly violent injury that often involves the arm being twisted into an abducted and externally rotated (throwing) position. The head usually comes out of the front of the socket, although dislocations in other directions do occur. This is a very painful injury, and reduction (putting the shoulder back in) is usually done in the ER. Depending on a number of factors, including whether it is a first-time dislocation and the patient's age, treatment may be non-surgical with a sling, followed by exercises or with surgery (arthroscopic or open) to stabilize the shoulder. For more information please click here.
Shoulder instability, or a tendency for the shoulder to pop or slide out of joint, can results from recurrent or innate laxity (looseness) in the shoulder joint. The symptoms can include pain with activity, weakness, and actual dislocation. Treatment can be surgical with repair or reefing of loose ligaments or, more often, non-surgical with strengthening exercises to help the muscle compensate for the looseness in the shoulder. For more information please click here.
The shoulder labrum is a rim of cartilage tissue around the glenoid (shoulder socket) that serves to deepen the socket and stabilize the shoulder as well as an important attachement site for tendons and ligaments. The labrum can be injured or torn acutely, sometimes after repetitive use such as in a throwing athlete. Symptoms often include, pain, weakness, and snapping or popping in the shoulder. Treatment recommendations may be surgical or non-surgical, depending on a variety of factors, including age, severity of symptoms, and activity level. For more information please click here.
Degenerative arthritis (DJD) of the shoulder is a common condition in our aging population and is characterized by degeneration or wearing away of the cartilage surfaces on the glenoid (shoulder socket) and the humeral head (shoulder ball). Symptoms are usually stiffness, pain, and weakness which slowly progress, and the diagnosis can usually be made with a simple history, physical exam, and x-rays; MRI is usually not necessary. Treatment options include over-the-counter medications, gentle exercises, avoidance of bothersome activities, and, if those fail to provide adequate relief, shoulder replacement surgery. For more information please click here.