Shoulder pain affects everyone from time to time. Sometimes the shoulder can be overextended or fatigued from overuse. However, there can be times when shoulder pain may not go away or becomes worse over time. This is when you should see your orthopedic Phoenix physician to have it diagnosed and treated, so you can get on your way to doing the things you love.
The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, but it is also the most unstable. This makes it susceptible to dislocations and degeneration. Pain, stiffness, and weakness can be experienced when the shoulder becomes compromised. When this happens, it makes it difficult to eat, dress, and perform other daily activities. Sleeping can be hard because of shoulder pain, and this leads emotional and psychological disharmony from lack of sleep.
Shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal issue that patients go to their primary doctor for. Occupations that involve heavy lifting, awkward arm positions, and require keeping arms raised higher than normal are associated with the development of shoulder problems. Athletes that are involved in sports that require repetitive arm movements will have issues with shoulder pain as well.
The following are common shoulder injuries:
Soft tissue disorders
• Tendonitis, bursitis, and tendon or muscle tears can be factors causing problems in the rotator cuff.
• Impingement syndrome can be another issue where it is difficult for the patient to lift the arm up level to the shoulder or farther.
• Rotator cuff tendinopathy usually affects people 35 years old and older; it is usually caused by repetition in shoulder movements, especially frequent overhead reaching and heavy lifting.
• Adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder
This is more common in patients over the age of 60 years though it can happen to younger people who had a traumatic injury. It occurs from the degeneration of the head of the upper arm bone that makes up part of the shoulder. Osteoarthritis is the common type of arthritis that comes about. Other types that may occur are rheumatoid arthritis and osteonecrosis.
When there is hypermobility of the shoulder joint, as in subluxation and dislocation, this indicates instability. Bench pressing and kayaking are activities that can cause this type of injury.
There are two types of procedures that may be performed depending on the severity and complexity of the injury or anomaly.
This type of procedure is the least invasive of the two interventions. Arthroscopy is a way the orthopedic surgeon can enter the shoulder with a small lens and lighting device that allows for just small incisions to look inside the joint rather than a large incision. The images that the little video camera sees are projected to a TV monitor in the surgery room so that the surgeon can see the structures. Other surgical instruments will be used within the small incisions to make repairs. This is an outpatient procedure so patients can leave the same day.
• Open Surgery
If open surgery is the option, it will be done with incisions that are a bit longer than with the arthroscopy but the results of the surgery will be better.
Recovery and rehabilitation depends on the type of surgery performed, such as for rotator cuff or dislocation.