Our physicians will diagnose and treat all conditions of the shoulder. Normal wear and tear may result in shoulder problems.
The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the human body. It actually is formed by 3 joints, which allows the shoulder to be highly mobile. There are many causes of shoulder pain, including instability, dislocation, fractures, sprains, tendonitis and bursitis. Arthritis and degenerative conditions of the large ball and socket joint along with the A-C (small) joint can also cause chronic shoulder pain.
The orthopedists at Mulroy Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can diagnose and treat conditions of the shoulder. Normal wear and tear may result in shoulder problems due to the shoulder’s wide range of motion. Some common problems are:
Rotator cuff injuries– This is the most common cause of shoulder pain in adults over 30. The rotator cuff is a set of four muscles and tendons that support the shoulder. Because the rotator cuff tendons have a very low blood supply, they do not repair themselves quickly and are very vulnerable to degeneration as we age. Degeneration can be sped up by repeating the same types of shoulder movements again and again (overuse). Degeneration over time can lead to rotator cuff tendonitis which commonly occurs in patients under 40. Tendonitis can then progress to partial rotator cuff tears, and then to full thickness tears. Tears can also occur acutely during an accident or sports activity. Complete rotator cuff tears require surgical repair. The tendon must be pinned or sutured back to the bone. Once healing occurs the patient can return to normal activities.
Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)-This is a painful condition characterized by severe shoulder pain which comes on abruptly and is associated with a loss of motion in the shoulder. It may follow an injury to the shoulder but can also arise with no warning or prior injury. Many times, a formal physical therapy program is all that is needed to recover from this disabling condition.
Impingement syndrome– This is a painful irritation of the tendons and/or fluid sac (bursa) attached to the rotator cuff in the shoulder. The tendons and bursa rub against one another whenever the arms are raised over the head. Continuous overhead or repetitive shoulder movements, such as throwing, can cause irritation and pain that leads to progressive inflammation and pain. Arthroscopic surgery can open up the space and prevent further rubbing and irritation allowing a full recovery and relief of shoulder pain.