Suffering With A Shoulder Injury?: The Most Common Shoulder Injuries
Whether it’s a sports injury, the early stages of shoulder osteoarthritis, or a the result of a slip around the house, many individuals suffer from serious shoulder injuries and conditions don’t even know it. Are your shoulders causing you trouble? Is this a simple shoulder strain or something more involved?
A rotator cuff tear is a common shoulder injury among athletes and older adults. The rotator cuff consists of a series of muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint. Repetitive overhead motions or acute injuries can result in tears in this connective tissue.
Osteoarthritis is the result of the joint surface cartilage between your
bones breaking down due to normal wear and tear over time. There are two
main joints in the shoulder, the glenohumeral and the acromioclavicular
joints, and either or both of these could be the cause of your shoulder
• Learn more about shoulder arthritis here .
What causes frozen shoulder? Frozen shoulder is the result of tightening
and thickening connective tissues surrounding the shoulder. This causes
discomfort and limits your overall range of motion.
• Learn more about frozen shoulder here .
A SLAP tear (Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior) is another common
shoulder injury. A SLAP tear involves a tear in the cartilage surrounding
the shoulder joint also known as the labrum. This can be from repetitive
use, such as throwing, or acute injuries.
• Learn more about labrum tears
A dislocated shoulder happens when a the head of the humerus is physically
dislocated (either partially or entirely) from the shoulder socket.
• Learn more about dislocated shoulders
A Full Range of Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Care for Your Shoulder Injury
At Sports Medicine Oregon, we understand that every shoulder injury is unique. With this in mind, we take a personalized and methodical approach to your shoulder injury and then design a plan of action. After all we are here to treat our patients not just their symptoms.
The Sports Medicine Oregon orthopedic care capabilities include everything from cutting edge regenerative injections and total shoulder replacement surgery to individually tailored strength training and physical therapy regimens. A treatment program focused on pain alone won’t remedy the underlying problem.
So what are your treatment options? It all starts with a detailed history of your problem and an exam by a board certified orthopedic or sports medicine physician and ends with a personalized plan of action specific to your shoulder injury.
At Sports Medicine Oregon, we’ve treated thousands of shoulder injuries and it all starts with a thorough history of your problem and examination at our state of the art facility. We will diagnose the root cause of your shoulder pain and then design a strategy to help you restore your active lifestyle.
Simply put: Different types of shoulder pain indicate different types of shoulder injuries. What is your body trying to tell you? Your specific symptoms and your activity level will give us a better idea of the treatment options to discuss with you.
Once we’ve established your diagnosis, one of our board certified orthopedic and sports medicine physicians will assess and diagnose the cause of your shoulder symptoms. An accurate diagnosis is paramount to the shortest possible road to recovery.
Return to Play Guidelines
Understanding how often and how aggressively you can go about your normal activity regimen will depend on your injury, your lifestyle, and your shoulder pain. Typically, many common aches and pains can be adequately managed with strengthening and activity adjustments. At Sports Medicine Oregon, we call these personally tailored instructions your “Return to Play” guidelines.
Integrated Physical Therapy
Have you adjusted your lifestyle but your shoulder is still holding you back? Physical therapy can strengthen the surrounding muscles and increase flexibility. It is often a necessary step to take when your underlying shoulder injury is capable of healing without surgical intervention. Our on staff physical therapists will work directly with your physician to assure that your time is well spent.
Today, we are witnessing a true renaissance in sports medicine treatment and the latest biotech solutions can regrow healthy tissue and set you free from chronic shoulder instability. Is platelet rich plasma (PRP), prolotherapy, or stem cell (bone marrow aspirate concentrate) therapy right for you?
Imaging and Interpretation
If the previous treatment options haven’t adequately managed your symptoms it may be time to pinpoint the structural cause of your shoulder pain. Fortunately, we can image and diagnose many shoulder injuries on-site at our cutting edge medical complex.
Minimally Invasive Corrective Surgery
Unlike more invasive “open” surgery, arthroscopic shoulder surgery involves less pain, less swelling and shorter recovery times. After outpatient shoulder arthroscopy, patients return home the same day and can be back to their active lifestyle in a minimal amount of time.
Total Joint Replacement
Are you experiencing shoulder grinding or bone on bone joint pain? If joint preservation techniques haven’t alleviated your pain, joints damaged by severe shoulder arthritis are often treated with total shoulder replacement surgery as a last resort. If it turns out that this is the best option for you, our board certified orthopedic surgeons are leaders in the field.
Shoulder Grinding, Shoulder Pain Or Reduced Range Of Motion: Time To See An Orthopedist
There are many shoulder injuries, each with a range of shoulder pain symptoms and degrees of severity. Whether it’s shoulder grinding or signs of a torn labrum or rotator cuff, it’s important to understand exactly what these symptoms signify. What is your body trying to tell you?
Shoulder pain associated with less severe injuries (namely bumps and bruises) can often be managed with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. However, structural injuries and more severe conditions will require professional treatment. Are your shoulder injury symptoms the result of a mild shoulder sprain or a potentially more serious injury?
Swollen shoulder, minor shoulder pain?
Common shoulder pain and shoulder swelling are often associated with a host of shoulder injuries, conditions, and general overuse. Is your shoulder pain the result of a sprained shoulder, a general hyperextended shoulder or signs of shoulder bursitis?
Shoulder popping and grinding, shoulder locking up?
Shoulder snaps, crackles, and pops (known medically as “crepitus”) can signify a vast range of shoulder injuries. Many of these pops and clicks are harmless, however, bone on bone pain and shoulder grinding are hallmark arthritis shoulder pain symptoms. If you’re suffering from locked shoulder or a limited range of motion, this could be the result of a frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis).
Shoulder weakness and chronic shoulder instability?
Shoulder pain after workout and other movement-specific pain (such as shoulder pain when throwing) is quite common. Baseball shoulder injuries and volleyball shoulder injuries often include a noticeable decrease in velocity. These and other “dead arm” symptoms are often telltale indicators associated with rotator cuff injuries. Shoulder instability symptoms are typical following severe shoulder injuries and often involves the stretching or tearing of connective tissues.
Best Shoulder Injury Treatment Options
Depending on your age and activity you may not need to undergo surgery. Fortunately, at Sports Medicine Oregon, we offer many non surgical shoulder treatment options for your shoulder injury including personalized rehabilitation at our state-of-the-art outpatient physical therapy center and the latest regenerative treatments, such as PRP injections for shoulder arthritis.
Your specific symptoms as well as your lifestyle activity level will give us a clearer idea of the treatment options to consider moving forward.
Accurate Diagnosis and Return to Play Guidelines
Once your shoulder injury has been assessed and diagnosed by our board certified orthopedic and sports medicine surgeons, we can determine your Return to Play guidelines. These treatments will establish specific rules regarding your expectations and limitations until you return to your active lifestyle without shoulder pain.
While competitive athletes and active individuals may need surgery, less active individuals often benefit from the same techniques used to treat high-level athletes, such as physical therapy, strength training, and assistive braces alongside general lifestyle adjustments. In fact, shoulder injuries often respond well to nonsurgical treatment.
From shoulder arthritis exercises and physical therapy for rotator cuff bursitis or shoulder tendonitis to labral tear shoulder treatment, your nonsurgical options will be determined by the severity of your injury or joint inflammation. With this in mind, those in the preliminary stages of osteoarthritis can greatly benefit from the full spectrum of nonsurgical treatments.
Physical therapy exercises for shoulder injuries will allow you to strengthen the surrounding muscles and also increase range of motion. Depending on your shoulder injury we will create a strength training regimen based on you and your activity goals.
For decades, patients were exceedingly limited to shots designed to treat shoulder pain (namely cortisone injections and shoulder steroid injections). Today, that has all changed and there are many biological regeneration solutions to regrow and build shoulder joint tissues. Come in today and let’s talk about your regenerative injection options and PRP injections for shoulder arthritis.
When Shoulder Surgery Is The Best Option For Your Shoulder Injury
Let’s say you’ve changed your lifestyle, tried physical therapy and your shoulders are still holding you back. If your symptoms cannot be managed with nonsurgical treatments or your functional plateau is keeping you from your active lifestyle it may be time to consider shoulder surgery.
The labrum is the cartilage around the shoulder socket. A typical SLAP tear
surgery is designed to repair a torn (or partially torn) bicep tendon in
the shoulder and reattach this tissue.
• Learn more about SLAP tear surgery here.
Shoulder impingement surgery is used to create space for the rotator cuff.
During shoulder impingement surgery, the surgeon removes connective
tissues, portions of bone, and minor defects to make space in the joint.
• Learn more about distal clavicle excision here.
Rotator cuff repair surgery is designed to mend a torn rotator cuff tendon.
During the procedure, the damaged tendon is surgically reattached to the
• Learn more about rotator cuff surgery
Total shoulder replacement surgery is often performed to replace a diseased
humerus head or a joint damaged by severe shoulder arthritis. During this
procedure, the shoulder is replaced partially or entirely with plastic and
• Learn more about total shoulder replacement
Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery: Non-Invasive Surgery For Your Shoulder
Today there are many outpatient shoulder surgery options and typically patients are free to return home just hours after the procedure. Unlike more invasive procedures, arthroscopic shoulder surgery doesn’t involve large open incisions and results in less swelling and faster recoveries. These arthroscopic shoulder surgery are geared toward tendons, ligaments, and joint preservation not joint replacement.
What exactly is arthroscopic shoulder surgery? During a typical procedure, the surgeon guides a small camera (arthroscope -- hence the name) through the shoulder via a small incision and uses this visual data and surgical instruments to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your shoulder pain.
Less Pain and Swelling
General swelling and pain after arthroscopic shoulder surgery are to be expected. Unlike traditional arthrotomy surgeries (also known as “open surgeries”) arthroscopic shoulder surgery involves small incisions to treat the underlying problem. This means less swelling, less damage to normal tissue, and less shoulder pain after your procedure.
Smaller incisions often enable shorter recovery times allowing you to get back to your normal daily activity faster.
Decreased Risk of Infection
These smaller incisions minimize the overall healing time and also reduce patient’s risk of infection.
Almost all arthroscopic surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures and patients are normally free to return home just 1-2 hours after the surgery.
What Is the Recovery Time for Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery?
Now that the surgery is over, it’s time for the healing process to begin. Knowing what to anticipate during the recovery process can help keep us set realistic expectations beforehand. How long does it take to recover from shoulder surgery?
Patients are able to return home an hour or two after surgery. At home, it’s important to apply ice packs as needed to minimize any swelling and shoulder pain. Your shoulder may be in a sling for anywhere between a day up to the first few weeks to allow the joint to heal properly, depending on the type of surgery. Those with less strenuous “desk” jobs can go back to work within a few days following surgery. A full arthroscopic shoulder surgery recovery time will take anywhere from a few days to several months, depending on the type of surgery.
Physical therapy is crucial to shoulder surgery recovery and your doctor will design a regimen for your specific injury. During the first few weeks, these exercises may focus on passive movements and then progress toward active movements as early as several days and up to one month after surgery. Depending on your surgery type, you will then begin strengthening.
Free weight and elastic band exercises after arthroscopic shoulder surgery are designed to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint and also increase flexibility to restore your active lifestyle.