Your shoulders are at risk for many different injuries and orthopedic conditions. These large joints are used for daily activities and are made up of several tendons and muscles. Some of the most common shoulder issues include:
This is also known as a clavicle fracture.
Causes: The most common cause of a broken collarbone is a direct hit to the shoulder, a severe fall, or a car accident.
Symptoms: A broken collarbone is very painful. It can also be difficult to lift your arm.
Conservative Treatments: A broken collarbone can heal without surgery, especially with the help of a sling and physical therapy.
Surgery: For severe breaks, surgery may be used to hold the bone in place with screws, pins, or plates.
Bursae are small sacs located between the shoulder and the rotator cuff (and all throughout the body). Their job is to keep the rotator cuff tendons moving freely. Bursitis occurs when the bursae are inflamed.
Causes: Overuse is the most common cause of bursitis.
Symptoms: Bursitis causes pain, stiffness, and tenderness in the shoulder.
Conservative Treatments: Physical therapy, steroid injections, and anti-inflammatory medications can relieve symptoms.
Surgery: Surgery may be needed to remove the inflamed part of the bursa.
A shoulder fracture is a broken shoulder.
Causes: Fractures are usually caused by a direct blow to the area.
Symptoms: Pain, difficulty moving, bruising, and swelling are common with shoulder fractures. You might also notice a grinding sensation when you move your shoulder.
Conservative Treatments: Ice therapy, rest, sling, and pain medications can be used while the shoulder fracture heals.
Surgery: Surgery may be necessary to hold the bone in place while it heals.
Repeated shoulder dislocations are related to shoulder instability.
Causes: A sudden injury or shoulder strain can contribute to shoulder instability.
Symptoms: Shoulder instability causes pain and a general feeling of the shoulder being loose.
Conservative Treatments: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and activity modification can all be used to restore stability to the shoulder.
Surgery: If conservative treatments are not effective, surgery may be needed in order to repair the ligaments and allow them to keep the shoulder in place.
Rotator Cuff Tears
The rotator cuff surrounds the shoulder joint and is made up of muscles and tendons.
Causes: Repeated overhead motions, such as throwing a ball or painting up high, can cause you to tear your rotator cuff.
Symptoms: The most common symptom is pain that worsens with activity.
Conservative Treatments: Physical therapy can relieve symptoms in some cases.
Surgery: Surgically smoothing the tear or re-attaching the rotator cuff may be needed.
The tendons for your biceps are located in your shoulder, and are important for attaching muscle to bone.
Causes: Tendons can tear with an injury or as a result of overuse.
Symptoms: There are various degrees of tendon tears, from minor to severe. All tears can result in weakness and pain in the shoulder and in the arm.
Conservative Treatments: Torn tendons in the shoulder can heal on their own with the help of rest and physical therapy.
Surgery: For complete tendon tears, repairing the tendon surgically may be necessary.