Seaview Shoulder Specialists:
At Seaview Orthopaedics we have board certified and fellowship trained physicians to treat any shoulder injury. Patients are evaluated and treated with the utmost compassion and understanding.
What most people call the shoulder is really several joints that combine with tendons and muscles to allow a wide range of motion to the arm—from scratching your back to throwing the perfectpitch. Mobility has its price, however. It may lead to increasing problems with instability or impingement of soft tissue resulting in pain. You may feel pain only when the shoulder is moved, or all of the time. The pain may be temporary and disappear in a short time, or it may continue and require medical diagnosis and treatment.
Some people will have a tendency to ignore the pain and "play through" a shoulder injury, which only aggravates the condition, and may possibly cause more problems. People also may underestimate the extent of their injury because steady pain, weakness in the arm, or limitation of joint motion will become almost second nature to them.
Orthopaedic surgeons group shoulder problems into the following categories:
The rotator cuff is one of the most important components of the shoulder. It is comprised of a group of muscles and tendons that hold the bones of the shoulder joint together. The rotator cuff muscles provide individuals with the ability to lift their arm and reach overhead. When the rotator cuff is injured, people sometimes do not recover the full shoulder function needed to properly participate in an athletic activity.
Other much more rare causes of shoulder pain are tumors, infection and nerve-related problems.
A tendon is a cord which connects muscle to bone or other tissue. Most tendinitis is a result of the wearing process that takes place over a period of years, much like the wearing process on the sole of a shoe which eventually splits from overuse.
Generally, tendinitis is one of several types:
Sometimes, excessive use of the shoulder leads to inflammation and swelling of a bursa, a condition known as bursitis. Bursas are fluid-filled sacs located around the joints which lessen the friction caused by movement of the shoulder. Bursitis often occurs in association with rotator cuff tendinitis. Sometimes the many tissues in the shoulder become inflamed and painful, limiting the use of the shoulder. The joint may stiffen as a result, a condition called a "frozen shoulder." Fortunately, with appropriate care, this condition will resolve itself.
Sometimes the bones in one of the shoulder joints move (or, in an injury, are forced) out of their normal position. This condition, instability, can result in dislocation of one of the joints in the shoulder. Recurring dislocations, which may be partial or complete, cause pain and unsteadiness when you raise your arm or move it away from your body. When you lift your arm over your head, the shoulder may feel as if it is slipping out of place or an uncomfortable, unusual feeling that some people refer to as having a "dead" arm.
Shoulder pain can also result from arthritis. There are many types of arthritis, but generally it involves wear and tear changes with inflammation of the joint, causing swelling, pain and stiffness. Arthritis may be related to sports or work injuries.
Treatment generally involves altering activities, rest and physical therapy to help you improve shoulder strength and flexibility. Medication may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and reduce pain. If medication is prescribed to relieve pain, it should be taken only as directed. Injections of drugs may also be used to treat pain.
Surgery may be required to resolve shoulder problems; however, most percent of patients with shoulder pain will respond to simple treatment methods such as altering activities, rest, exercise and medication. Certain types of shoulder problems, such as recurring dislocation and some rotator cuff tears may require surgery.