SHOULDER

Did you know that between the ages of 18 and 88, almost everyone will experience some type of shoulder pain? In fact, shoulder joints are one of the most common places that people experience injury or discomfort, likely because this joint has the greatest range of motion but the least stability. Most shoulder problems are a result of one of four common problems: tendon inflammation (such as bursitis or tendonitis) or tear (such as a rotator cuff tear), instability, broken bone, or arthritis.

Symptoms of shoulder pain may range from a dull, achy pain to a sharp, stabbing pain. Other symptoms may include muscle spasms, tingling arm, weakness, or shoulder stiffness. Some types of injuries come on suddenly while others may show up progressively. Repetitive motion, injury, overuse, or inactivity can lead to more extensive shoulder problems. At AICA, we recognize that expert specialists combined with the appropriate diagnostic tools can help you recover from a shoulder injury more quickly and with better long-term results. Call us today to schedule an appointment so that you can experience relief from shoulder discomfort.

About Our Specialists

Orthopedic shoulder specialists treat a variety of shoulder issues.  Their primary job is to examine your shoulder and offer nonsurgical treatments to ease your shoulder pain and offer relief before resorting to surgery.  Since the shoulder is a ball and socket joint that relies on muscles, tendons, and ligaments for stability, an orthopedic specialist at AICA will use a variety of medical imaging technology to determine what is wrong with your shoulder in order to offer the best form of treatment.

In most cases, nonsurgical options include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, or simply giving the shoulder time to rest with activity and lifestyle modifications.  If nonsurgical methods don’t ease the pain, then your orthopedic specialist will discuss your surgical options.  The type of shoulder surgery you may need will depend upon your injury, ranging from minimally invasive options, like shoulder arthroscopy, to more extensive surgery, like rotator cuff surgery or total or partial shoulder replacement or revision surgery.

Sometimes, shoulder pain can actually stem from dysfunction in the neck.  This area is highly concentrated with ligaments, tendons, nerves, arteries, and veins.  If the type of shoulder pain points to more than just a problem with the shoulder, but also with the neck and spine, then a neurologist can help identify the root cause to ease shoulder pain and improve range of motion.

Diagnostics

MRI

Persistent shoulder pain can indicate a larger problem, so diagnostic testing such as an MRI is essential to confirm the source. The MRI will present a clear picture of all angles of the shoulder for your physician to examine.

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X-Ray

Your doctor may also suspect skeletal damage as well as soft tissue damage, so an X-Ray will be performed to rule out any broken bones. X-Rays use radiation, which passes through soft tissue to shoe a picture of bone.

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What Causes Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain can be caused by any number of things.  For athletes, shoulder pain can be related to a sports injury.  Overuse of the arm during sporting activities often leads to shoulder pain later on.  Work-related accidents may also lead to shoulder pain.  Lifting heavy objects or straining your shoulder at work could cause damage to the joint.  Accidents are another common cause of shoulder injuries. Car accidents, pedestrian accidents, or ATV accidents can all cause shoulder damage and pain.  Even something as simple as slipping, falling, and catching yourself on your shoulder can significantly damage a ligament, muscle, or joint in the shoulder.  When you experience lingering shoulder pain, it’s time to get help from some of the best at AICA Orthopedics.

Conditions

A torn rotator cuff, either partial or full, can be extremely painful.  These types of tears won’t heal on their own.  Instead, proper treatment is required for complete healing. A torn rotator cuff can be caused by a sudden fall on your outstretched arm, a car accident when you brace your arm against the steering wheel for impact, repetitive stress and overuse, or degenerative wear and tear from age.  If your rotator cuff in your shoulder is damaged, orthopedic specialists at AICA will examine the shoulder and inform you of your best treatment options for a full recovery.  If you experience pain in your shoulder that prevents you from sleeping on your side, this could be the first sign of a torn rotator cuff.  Also be aware of weakness, tenderness, or pain when you lift your arms above your head as these are all signs of a tear in the rotator cuff.  No matter what the cause or what symptoms you experience, AICA Orthopedics experts can examine, diagnose, and treat your shoulder injury so you can be on the road to recovery as fast as possible.

Shoulder fractures can range from mild to severe, from a stress fracture to a complete fracture or even a compound fracture.  Broken bones are never something to mess around with.  They should be taken seriously and treated carefully for a full recovery.  X-rays can help determine the extent of your shoulder fracture, and our orthopedic specialists offer the best in care and treatment of shoulder fractures, no matter how mild or extensive.   The bone may need to be reset or put in a cast to prevent movement.  Depending on the severity, surgery may even be necessary.

Dislocating your shoulder means the joint has come out of socket.  If this happens, you will experience swelling, numbness, bruising, weakness, or deformity.  A dislocation may even cause tears to the ligaments or muscles around the shoulder.  Our orthopedic specialists will examine the shoulder and may even order an X-ray to further examine the extent of the damage from shoulder dislocation.  Then they can place the joint back into the socket.  Rehabilitation is required for a full recovery.  Physical therapy and exercises will help improve range of motion and strengthen the shoulder muscles so this type of injury doesn’t happen again.

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