Understanding the Shoulder

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint where the humerus, or upper arm bone, attaches into a socket in the scapula, or shoulder blade. It is held in place by the rotator cuff, a network of tendons that attaches to the head of the humerus and works to rotate and lift the arm.

Shoulder Injuries

Most shoulder injuries can be grouped into two categories: instability and impingement. Instability occurs when the shoulder joint is no longer its usual position. If you have an instability problem, you’ll likely feel pain when raising your arm. Impingement occurs when the shoulder muscles rub against the shoulder blade. If you’re experiencing shoulder impingement, you may feel pain when reaching overhead. 

Shoulder Injury Symptoms

Symptoms will vary depending on your injury but may include upper arm pain, aching pain, pain while sleeping on your side, joint instability, difficulty with movements like putting on a shirt or combing your hair, and popping, clicking or catching in the shoulder. 

Rotator Cuff Injuries

Rotator cuff tears are common among athletes and people who do repetitive work. The rotator cuff is a group of four tendons that cover the head of the humerus and attach it to the scapula. When the rotator cuff tears, it is no longer fully attached to the head of the humerus. Tears can be either partial or complete, and can result either from acute injury or wear and tear over time.

Treatment

Treatment for shoulder injuries vary, and our team will determine the appropriate treatment based on your condition. Some patients heal with rest, pain management, and physical therapy.  Other patients require surgery, which can include reverse shoulder arthroplasty, arthroscopy and joint replacement or joint repair.