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Shoulder Anatomy

The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body that enables a wide range of movements including forward flexion, abduction, adduction, external rotation, internal rotation, and 360-degree circumduction. Thus, the shoulder joint is considered the most insecure joint of the body, but the support of ligaments, muscles, and tendons function to provide the required stability. 

The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint made up of three bones, namely the humerus, scapula, and clavicle. 

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Shoulder Conditions

  • Rotator Cuff TearRotator Cuff Tear

    A rotator cuff is a group of tendons in the shoulder joint that provides support and enables a wide range of motion. A major injury to these tendons may result in rotator cuff tears. It is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain in middle-aged and older individuals.

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  • Arthritis of the ShoulderArthritis of the Shoulder

    The term arthritis literally means inflammation of a joint but is generally used to describe any condition in which there is damage to the cartilage. Damage of the cartilage in the shoulder joint causes shoulder arthritis. Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury. The warning signs that inflammation presents are redness, swelling, heat, and pain.

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  • Clavicle FractureClavicle Fracture

    The break or fracture of the clavicle (collarbone) is a common sports injury associated with contact sports such as football and martial arts, as well as impact sports such as motor racing. A direct blow over the shoulder that may occur during a fall on an outstretched arm or a motor vehicle accident may cause the clavicle bone to break.

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  • Frozen ShoulderFrozen Shoulder

    Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, is a condition in which you experience pain and stiffness in your shoulder. The symptoms appear slowly, worsen gradually and usually take one to three years to resolve on their own.

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  • Glenoid FracturesGlenoid Fractures

    The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. A ball at the top of the upper arm bone (humerus) fits neatly into a socket, called the glenoid, which is part of the shoulder blade (scapula). The glenoid is surrounded by a ring of fibrous cartilage called the labrum for stabilization of the shoulder joint.

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  • Internal Impingement of the ShoulderInternal Impingement of the Shoulder

    Internal shoulder impingement can be described as a pathological condition resulting from repetitive impingement of the internal surface of the rotator cuff by the bones at the back of the glenohumeral joint.

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  • Partial Rotator Cuff TearPartial Rotator Cuff Tear

    A partial rotator cuff tear is an incomplete tear that involves damage to a part of the tendon. The tear can be at the top, bottom or inner side of the tendon and does not go all the way through the tendon completely.

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  • Proximal Humerus FracturesProximal Humerus Fractures

    The humerus is the bone that forms the upper arm. It articulates with the glenoid cavity of the scapula (shoulder blade) to form the shoulder joint and with the lower arm bones – the ulna and radius – to form the elbow joint. The proximal humerus is the upper end of the arm bone that forms the shoulder joint.

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  • Rotator Cuff PainRotator Cuff Pain

    The rotator cuff consists of a group of tendons and muscles that surround and stabilize the shoulder joint. These tendons allow a wide range of movement of the shoulder joint across multiple planes. Irritation or injury to these tendons can result in rotator cuff pain.

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  • Rotator Cuff Re-tearRotator Cuff Re-tear

    Rotator cuff repair is a surgery to repair an injured or torn rotator cuff. A re-tear may occur a few years after surgery due to multiple reasons including aging, a massive previous tear (more than 5cm), fatty degradation of the tendons, inflammatory arthritis, and inappropriate rehabilitation. 

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  • Shoulder DislocationShoulder Dislocation

    Sports that involve overhead movements and repeated use of the shoulder at your workplace may lead to sliding of the upper arm bone from the glenoid. The dislocation might be a partial dislocation (subluxation) or a complete dislocation causing pain and shoulder joint instability. The shoulder joint often dislocates in the forward direction (anterior instability), and sometimes in the backward or downward direction.

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  • Shoulder DisordersShoulder Disorders

    The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body that enables a wide range of movements. Aging, trauma or sports activities can cause injuries and disorders that can range from minor sprains or strains to severe shoulder trauma.

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  • Shoulder FractureShoulder Fracture

    The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body, enabling a wide range of movements. It is a ball-and-socket joint made up of three bones, namely the humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade) and clavicle.

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  • Shoulder ImpingementShoulder Impingement

    Shoulder impingement is the inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder joint. It is one of the most common causes of pain in the shoulder. Shoulder impingement is also called swimmer’s shoulder, tennis shoulder or rotator cuff tendinitis.

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  • Shoulder InstabilityShoulder Instability

    Shoulder instability is a chronic condition that causes frequent dislocation of the shoulder joint.

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  • Shoulder Labral TearShoulder Labral Tear

    Traumatic injury to the shoulder or overuse of the shoulder (throwing, weightlifting) may cause the labrum to tear. In addition, aging may weaken the labrum leading to injury.

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  • Shoulder PainShoulder Pain

    Pain in the shoulder may suggest an injury, which is more common in athletes participating in sports such as swimming, tennis, pitching, and weightlifting. The injuries are caused due to the over usage or repetitive motion of the arms.
    In addition to pain, shoulder injuries also cause stiffness, restricted movements, difficulty in performing routine activities and popping sensation.

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  • Shoulder TraumaShoulder Trauma

    Shoulder injuries most commonly occur in athletes participating in sports such as swimming, tennis, pitching, and weightlifting. The injuries are caused due to the over usage or repetitive motion of the arms.

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  • SLAP TearsSLAP Tears

    The term SLAP (superior –labrum anterior-posterior) lesion or SLAP tear refers to an injury of the superior labrum of the shoulder.

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Shoulder Procedures

  • Shoulder ArthroscopyShoulder Arthroscopy

    Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical procedure performed for joint problems. Shoulder arthroscopy is performed using a pencil-sized instrument called an arthroscope. The arthroscope consists of a light system and camera that projects images of the surgical site onto a computer screen for your doctor to clearly view. Arthroscopy is used to treat disease conditions and injuries involving the bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles of the shoulder joint.

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  • Shoulder Joint ReplacementShoulder Joint Replacement

    Total shoulder replacement surgery is performed to relieve symptoms of severe shoulder pain and disability due to arthritis. In this surgery, the damaged articulating parts of the shoulder joint are removed and replaced with artificial prostheses. Replacement of both the humeral head and the socket is called a total shoulder replacement.

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  • Minimally Invasive Shoulder Joint ReplacementMinimally Invasive Shoulder Joint Replacement

    Shoulder joint replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces damaged bone surfaces with artificial humeral and glenoid components to relieve pain and improve functional ability in the shoulder joint.

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  • SLAP RepairSLAP Repair

    A SLAP repair is an arthroscopic shoulder procedure to treat a specific type of injury to the labrum called a SLAP tear.

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  • Revision Shoulder ReplacementRevision Shoulder Replacement

    Total shoulder replacement is the replacement of the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) and the glenoid cavity (cavity of the shoulder blade) into which the humerus fits, with artificial prostheses to relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness caused due to damage of cartilage at the articulating surfaces.

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  • Rotator Cuff RepairRotator Cuff Repair

    The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles in the shoulder joint including the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. These muscles originate in the scapula and attach to the head of the humerus through tendons. The rotator cuff forms a sleeve around the humeral head and glenoid cavity, providing stability to the shoulder joint while enabling a wide range of movements.

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  • Shoulder Fracture CareShoulder Fracture Care

    A break in the bone that makes up the shoulder joint is called a shoulder fracture. The clavicle (collarbone) and end of the humerus (upper arm bone) closest to the shoulder are the bones that usually are fractured. The scapula, or shoulder blade, is not easily fractured because of its protective cover of surrounding muscles and chest tissue.

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  • Shoulder StabilizationShoulder Stabilization

    Shoulder instability is a chronic condition that causes frequent dislocation of the shoulder joint. A dislocation occurs when the end of the humerus (the ball portion) partially or completely dislocates from the glenoid (the socket portion) of the shoulder.

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  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • Athe American College of Surgeons
  • American Shoulder And Elbow Surgeons