Shoulder Injuries Specialist

Oakland Orthopedic Institute

Orthopaedic Surgery located in Clarkston, MI

Up to 26% of American adults experience shoulder pain. Shoulder injuries like rotator cuff tears, impingement, and fractures can all cause severe pain or even disability, which is why you need help from Oakland Orthopedic Institute shoulder specialist Paul Lewis, DO, when you’re struggling. Book your appointment online or call the Clarkston, Michigan, office for help now.

Shoulder Injuries Q&A

What are the most common shoulder injuries?

With its shallow socket and tremendous flexibility, your shoulder joint is quite susceptible to injury. The three most common shoulder injuries are:

Rotator cuff tears

Rotator cuff tears affect the muscles and tendons that keep your shoulder joint stable. A tear in your rotator cuff can prevent you from lifting your arm or reaching.

Rotator cuff tears can occur with wear-and-tear, normal aging, or trauma from a fall or direct blow to the joint.

Shoulder impingement

Shoulder impingement happens when your shoulder muscles continually rub against the acromion (the very top of your shoulder blade). 

The injury can occur alongside rotator cuff tears. The tear causes irritation and swelling, which reduces space around the rotator cuff, leading to impingement. Shoulder impingement is common in throwing athletes.

Shoulder instability

Shoulder instability happens when your joint moves outside the socket. The joint may return to its proper position, or it may remain outside the socket (dislocation). Shoulder instability is a common injury in throwing athletes, and it can also occur in volleyball players and in people who suffer a direct hit to the shoulder. 

Most shoulder injuries occur in the shoulder’s soft tissues. But, you may also experience bone injuries, such as a clavicle (collarbone) fracture. There are also many causes of shoulder pain that could result from an injury, like bursitis and arthritis.  

When do I need help for a shoulder injury?

If you have any of the following symptoms, it’s time to reach out to Oakland Orthopedic Institute for help:

  • Severe shoulder pain or soreness
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning in your shoulder
  • Reduced shoulder movement
  • Loose feeling in your shoulder
  • Shoulder weakness

The same factors that make the shoulder vulnerable to injury contribute to the high risk of the injury worsening. Continuing to use an injured or painful shoulder often leads to more serious injuries, so it’s best to seek help sooner rather than later.

How are shoulder injuries treated?

Initial treatment for a shoulder injury usually includes physical therapy, shoulder bracing, oral medication, and activity modification. 

Some soft tissue injuries, like certain rotator cuff tears, may heal faster with precision medicine injections, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP).

Depending on the severity of your shoulder injury and how you respond to conservative care, you could need surgery. Most shoulder surgeries involve an arthroscopic approach with small incisions.

While shoulder replacement surgery is more typical for arthritis-related shoulder pain, it’s also an option for severe shoulder injuries that don’t respond to other treatment approaches. 

For help with shoulder injuries, call Oakland Orthopedic Institute or click the online scheduling link now.