The shoulder is one of the most complicated joints in your body.
Sadly, you don’t appreciate it until something goes wrong.
Even a minor shoulder injury can greatly limit your movement and cause a lot of pain. That’s why our orthopedic physicians at Conway Medical Center are experts at not only treating injuries, but guiding you through physical therapy and other techniques to get you back on track.
You don’t have to be an athlete to have a shoulder injury. While you typically hear of shoulder problems in tennis and baseball players, any activity that involves overhead motion can cause shoulder damage. This includes activities such as hanging curtains or gardening.
Would you like to see a detailed illustration of your shoulder and how it works? Check out this information from the Mayo Clinic.
Here are some of the most common shoulder injuries we encounter and how we treat them.
Common Causes of Shoulder Pain and Shoulder Injuries
Whenever your shoulder joint is moved out of its normal position, you have problems. This is called shoulder instability. If you have this type of dislocation, you’ll feel pain whenever you raise your arm. It may even give you the impression that your shoulder is “slipping.”
How we treat shoulder instability:
Depending upon your level of pain, we may use a sling to temporarily immobilize the shoulder. In other cases, a shoulder brace may be a better option.
We will work with patients on providing exercises to increase range of motion. Working with a physical therapist can often be successful in resolving symptoms without having surgery.
If these methods are not successful, surgery may be an option. During surgery, we use minimally invasive techniques to repair damaged structures and restore normal stability to the shoulder.
Before we can get into what shoulder impingement is, we have to quickly review how the muscles in the shoulder work.
The top part of the shoulder blade is called the acromion. When shoulder muscles rub too much across the acromion, you get shoulder impingement, which can cause inflammation and pain.
Without appropriate treatment, shoulder impingement can lead to further damage of the muscles and tendons around the shoulder.
How we treat shoulder impingement:
We always consider nonsurgical treatments first. Often, shoulder impingement may be treated through rest, anti-inflammatory medicines and physical therapy. As pain subsides, we’ll work with you to strengthen your shoulder muscles
If the pain is not relieved, we may use steroid injections.
If these are not successful, surgery is an option. During a procedure, we’ll create more space for the rotator cuff by removing inflamed portions of the bursitis and remove any bone spurs that may be contributing to impingement
The bursa is a sac of fluid that helps your joint move smoothly.
Torn or Damaged Rotator Cuffs
You’ve probably known someone who has had a rotator cuff problem. This part of your shoulder is vital because it holds all the bones of your shoulder joint together.
The rotator cuff allows you to lift your arm and reach overhead. If the cuff is torn or injured, you experience pain and loss of motion and function. It can even make simple tasks like combing your hair difficult.
Every year, roughly 2 million Americans visit their physicians due to a problem with their rotator cuff.
How we treat rotator cuff injuries:
The treatment depends upon the scope of the damage. Often, severe rotator cuff injuries need surgery so we can repair the damage. We use an arthroscopic surgical technique. This means that it is a minimally invasive procedure using a small camera that is inserted into your shoulder joint.
Frozen shoulder is A condition characterized by stiffness and pain that can result when the shoulder has been immobile for a long time.
Most of those who have frozen shoulder are between 40 and 60 years of age. Those with diabetes, thyroid disease, heart disease or Parkinson’s disease appear to be more susceptible.
How we treat frozen shoulder
Typically, it can be relieved through physical therapy, over-the-counter pain medicine or cortisone shots.
Shoulder Replacement at CMC’s Joint Replacement Center
If you have severe shoulder damage, we’ve got effective options for you. Working together with our joint replacement team, you can expect compassionate care that will help alleviate your shoulder problems. We offer:
• Total Shoulder Replacement
• Partial Shoulder Replacement
• Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement
If you’d like to see how these are performed, we have some wonderful informational videos on this site!
If you have shoulder pain or suspect you have an injury, it’s important to get help as soon as possible so the problem doesn’t get progressively worse.
Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic physicians today.