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Orthopaedic Surgery

Common Shoulder Problems

Rotator cuff tear

The rotator cuff  is the combined tendons of four deep muscles (the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis) around the shoulder joint.  Together, they are very important to shoulder motion, function, and strength.  Injuries to the rotator cuff remain one of the most common reasons for shoulder pain and disability.  When injured, patients may experience shoulder pain, weakness, and difficult with overhead activities.  Depending on the characteristics of the injury, treatment options can range from physical therapy to surgical repair. 

Shoulder arthritis

Arthritis of the shoulder glenohumeral joint can result in considerable shoulder pain and loss of normal motion.  The glenohumeral joint is the large ball and socket joint of the shoulder.  This joint is one of the least constrained joints in our body and allows an endless array of shoulder motion and arm function.  When arthritis develops, patients may lose the ability to perform routine activities of daily living, complete occupational demands, or participate in recreational activities.

Shoulder dislocation

The shoulder glenohumeral joint is one of the most common dislocated joints in the body.  Secondary to its anatomy and minimally constrained nature, traumatic dislocations can occur.  Treatment is often tailored to the specifics of the injury (i.e. associated ligament, tendon, or bony injuries).

Proximal humerus fractures

The proximal humerus is the upper end of the arm bone adjacent to the shoulder.  Fractures of the proximal humerus remain one of the most frequently encountered fractures in medicine.  Minimally displaced fractures often can be treated nonsurgically.  With increased severity of injury, surgical repair should be considered to shoulder and arm to maximize function.