Atlanta's All-Inclusive Orthopaedic Surgery
and Sports Medicine Practice.

Shoulder.

Injuries & Pain

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Arthroscopic, or minimally invasive surgery has become more common as advances in technology allow doctors to see inside your body without making large incisions. This results in smaller scars for you, less post-operative pain, and a faster return to the physical activities you love.

The most common shoulder injury that may require arthroscopic surgery is a torn rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons attaching 4 shoulder muscles to your upper arm. Tears in this area are typical in adults over 40, especially if their hands are used in overhead positions often, such as painters or sheetrock workers. This accelerates weakening in the tendons. It is also a common injury among athletes like baseball pitchers, swimmers, and tennis players. A rotator cuff tear can also result from a direct impact, like falling from a bicycle. A common symptom is bursitis, where the small sac of fluid surrounding the joint, the bursa, becomes inflamed.
Should Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery be chosen, you can expect an incision the width of a straw tip in order for the surgeon to locate the source of your pain. When it is found, another incision wide enough to accommodate the tools is made and the injury is shaved, trimmed, cut, stitched, or smoothed until it is repaired. This is an outpatient procedure, meaning you will come in the morning for the procedure and be able to leave later on in the same day.

Non-surgical options and alternatives to surgery are available if the tear is minor. Ice packs to control swelling, anti-inflammatory medication to control pain, and physical therapy are all options to consider.

Also known as adhesive capsulitis, this inflammatory condition causes limited motion in the shoulder joint. This is generally caused by injury or disease, common risk factors include diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, or stroke.

Anti-inflammatory medication is usually prescribed to control pain and swelling. Movement is restored with gentle stretching exercises; very rarely is surgery necessary.

Of all sports-related injuries, dislocation of the shoulder joint is most common and typically occurs when the head of the upper arm bone pops from its socket due to either a forceful, sudden impact or an extreme rotation.

Pain is severe. Soon after the dislocation, the shoulder will swell, grow numb, and feel weak.

Dislocations are treated by a procedure called reduction to replace the ball of the upper arm bone. The arm is immobilized for weeks as the shoulder repairs itself; physical therapy is recommended afterwards.

Involves the stretching/tearing of ligaments where the collarbone meets the shoulder blade. This can cause the clavicle to slip forward and detach. Falling on an outstretched hand or an impact to the front of the shoulder are two common causes for shoulder separation.

Resting and donning a sling are the best methods for treating a separated shoulder. Ice and physical therapy are usually recommended as well. Two or three months may be necessary for a full recovery.

A deep ache will be felt along with the preceding symptoms. Torn rotator cuffs should be evaluated by a physician – arthroscopic surgery may be necessary. This is minimally invasive and patients undergoing the procedure can return home the very same day as the procedure.
Injuries may have swelling, bleeding, or bruising from the swollen muscle pressing against the nearby bone. Several months may be needed for the injury to fully heal in that state. Continued activity will worsen this condition.
The rotator cuff is a cluster of tendons and muscles supporting and stabilizing the arm, allowing it to move as freely as it does. Should these tendons and muscles get damaged, the range of the arm’s motion will be lowered. A tear in these muscles can severely limit motion.

An aching, weak shoulder when the arm is lifted overhead is sign of rotator cuff injury.

Less severe injuries may have swelling, bleeding, or bruising from the swollen muscle pressing against the nearby bone. Several months may be needed for the injury to fully heal in that state. Continued activity will worsen this condition.

Should your rotator cuff be torn, a deep ache will be felt along with the preceding symptoms. Torn rotator cuffs should be evaluated by a physician – arthroscopic surgery may be necessary. This is minimally invasive and patients undergoing the procedure can return home the very same day as the procedure.

This is the term used for the inflammation of the bursa, a sac that decreases friction between joints moving in different directions. When the bursa becomes enflamed, any further use of it causes increased irritation. This condition arises from overuse of a repetitive movement or continuous and excessive pressure, like resting your elbows on a desktop for long periods of time.

There are many types of bursitis (elbow, knee, shoulder, hip, etc), but most diagnoses are consistent in that each show tenderness and swelling over the bursa along with pain during movement. Inflamed bursas carry a small chance of getting infected. If you experience open wounds around the area of bursitis, redness, or a fever/chills, contact a doctor immediately.

Treating bursitis is a matter of resting and protecting the affected area. Ice it down, take anti-inflammatory medicines to control swelling, with physical therapy & cortisone injections available for persistent cases. Physical rehab may be recommended for serious cases.

Tendons connect muscles to bones. Tendonitis occurs when any of these tendons become inflamed and using the muscles becomes irritating and painful.

Overuse is the most common reason tendonitis may develop. Another cause is aging, as tendons lose their ability to stretch as you age. Tenderness over the tendon, pain and swelling of the tendon are common symptoms of tendonitis; different kinds of tendonitis (wrist, Achilles, knee, shoulder) need different treatments, but most require RICE therapy and in some cases, physical therapy.

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