The shoulder is a marvelous joint, representing a compromise between mobility and stability. While the shoulder must be mobile enough to allow ample arm movement, it also must be stable enough to permit the lifting and manipulation of objects. Due to this compromise, shoulder joints often suffer from problems not encountered with the hips. The medical experts at Onto Orthopedics can treat many types of rotator cuff tears, instability, and other varieties of shoulder joint damage. Please see the following articles to learn more or visit our "contact us" page.
Shoulder injuries are can occur frequently in athletes whose sport involves exorbitant, continuous, overhead motion of the shoulders like swimming , tennis, baseball, pitching (throwing) . Daily activities like gardening, washing, hanging, lifting etc. can also lead to shoulder injuries. Take care that you don’t overlook any type of injury to the shoulder even if it begins with mild pain or discomfort. You may not realize it if this minor discomfort boils down to major chronic issue. Hence, early diagnosis is important in order to prevent grievous shoulder injury.
The shoulder joint is a complex joint comprised of different bones, muscles and ligaments. Due to its complexity, it can get injured in multiple ways. There are different types of shoulder injuries such as a rotator cuff tear, fracture of the collarbone, clavicular fracture, shoulder joint dislocation, fracture of the neck of the humerus, etc. These can give you a sharp pain or twinge in the shoulder region, taking away the free swinging motion of your arms.
Many experts argue that humans’ bipedal motion helped propel us to the top of the food chain thousands of years ago. In fact, our two-legged walk may have given us improved endurance over our nearest 4-legged competitors. It may be no coincidence that many megafauna (like the mammoth) became extinct around the time we began to hunt them.1 As a consequence, our arms and shoulders began to take on other functions that require a larger range of motion. Such a change necessitated a compromise that increased flexibility and decreased stability of the shoulder joint. Dallas shoulder surgeons today provide an invaluable service by restoring functionality to your damaged shoulders.
The shoulder has the widest range of motion of any joint in your body. Unfortunately, this high range of motion makes it easier to injure your shoulders. Minor shoulder aches and pains are common, however certain symptoms might be indicators of more serious shoulder problems. Symptoms of more severe shoulder injury include swelling, numbness, tingling, weakness, or a reduction in your range of motion. Often, basic self-treatments can reduce shoulder pain or stiffness.
When home treatment fails to relieve your pain, you might have a more serious shoulder issue. Typically these problems come in two types, acute and overuse injuries. Acute injuries might occur from falling on the associated arm, a direct hit to the shoulder, or an overextension of the shoulder joint. On the other hand, overuse injuries might only become obvious after a long while, especially if shoulder soreness is common in your daily routine.
Rotator Cuff Injuries:
The shoulder joint enjoys a wide range of movement that allows us to indulge in sports like basketball, badminton, hockey and even ballet. It is formed by multiple bones including the humerus, collar bone and glenoid cavity of the shoulder blade, and muscles (especially the rotator cuff muscles and tendons). The rotator cuff is a sheath of muscles that wraps around the shoulder joint and is comprised of four muscles and their tendons. Together these help to stabilize the shoulder joint and ensure smooth movement. The rotator cuff is thus prone to several injuries and inflammation due to overuse of the shoulder joint.
Trauma/injury and degeneration are the two most common causes of rotator cuff injury. Injury to the rotator cuff causes tears in one or more tendons which attach to the head of the humerus (arm bone). It can result in either a partial tear or complete tear. These tears can be grouped into 2 categories:
- Acute tears usually happen in cases of lifting something heavy with a sudden jerk or falling on an outstretched arm.
- Degenerative tears occur when the tendon is slowly damaged over a long period of time. This usually occurs in the dominant hand (for example the right hand for a right handed person). The rotator cuff degenerates with age because of decreased blood supply, secondary to aging. Hence, repair of the tendons becomes slow, making them more prone to tears.