Most Mobile Joint
First, let’s discuss the anatomy of the shoulder. There are bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments. The three main bones are the upper arm bone, shoulder blade, and collarbone. Ligaments connect bone to bone, and muscles and tendons attach to the bones to help the shoulder move in many different directions, making it the most mobile joint in the body! However, with that mobility and flexibility come many opportunities to cause injury to the joint.
Some injuries heal with no adverse effects with the right PT techniques. Sometimes the injuries heal but you’re left with limited mobility and a new popping or grinding feeling in your shoulder. And sometimes your shoulder can feel like the injury just never healed.
The Connection Between Injuries and Arthritis
Often, a shoulder injury will heal with no adverse effects. Sometimes the injuries heal but you’re left with limited mobility and a new popping or grinding feeling in your shoulder. And sometimes your shoulder can feel like the injury just never healed.
Occasionally this nagging pain can develop into arthritis, having occurred after a fracture or dislocation. Arthritis affects over 50 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Health. Knee and hip arthritis are more common, but shoulder arthritis is being recognized more frequently.
The most common cause is primary osteoarthritis of the shoulder. Secondary causes of arthritis include inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis after fractures and dislocations, avascular necrosis where the bone in the humeral head dies, and after chronic rotator cuff tears.
The symptoms associated with arthritis are pain in the front or back of the shoulder, especially at night time, loss of motion, and mechanical popping and grinding. Strength is usually maintained unless there is a rotator cuff tear. Reaching behind the back is one of the first motions to be lost, and then eventually the entire shoulder suffers stiffness.
Throwing sports, like softball or football, can be the cause of acute or chronic pain in the shoulder. Acute pain can be defined as something that comes on quickly – overuse during a baseball game or a strain from a tennis serve. Chronic pain results from repetitive wear and tear on a joint after many years of playing sports. When injury or instability of the shoulder joint keeps you from enjoying the game, our Sports Medicine treatments are tailored to your exact need. Changing the way you do certain activities, resting the shoulder, and possibly physical therapy are typically the first methods offered to treat pain. In other cases, injections or surgery may be necessary. If the pain is severe or the symptoms persist, our office is equipped to provide unrivaled care to get you back in the game.
Conditions and Treatments
Following are a few of the other shoulder conditions our office treats. Click to read more about the causes of these conditions and how they’re treated.
Rotator cuff tears
Proximal humerus fractures
The muscles and joints of the shoulder make it the most mobile joint in the human body.
Frozen Shoulder is a loss of motion or stiffness in the shoulder, usually accompanied by pain in the joint. Frozen shoulder is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60, but can afflict anyone regardless of gender, arm preference or occupation.
Acromioclavicular Joint Separation Repair is used to repair a severe separation of the acromioclavicular (AC) joint in the shoulder. In this procedure, torn or ruptured ligaments are brought together and a surgical screw or heavy suture is inserted through the clavicle and into a part of the scapula to hold the joint in place during healing.
A Mini-Open Rotator Cuff Repair is used to inspect and reattach torn tendons in the shoulder’s rotator cuff. The initial part of the surgery is performed arthroscopically through small tubes. An open incision may be needed if the damage is severe.