Common Shoulder Problems | Shoulder Pain Treatment | Shoulder Replacement Surgery

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Shoulder joint along with tendons and muscles allows a wide range of motion in the arm. Sometimes, excess mobility can lead to instability issues or collision of soft tissue or other structures in the shoulder causing pain.


Pain is generally felt when one moves the shoulder or during the night. In some cases, pain maybe felt all through the day and may require medical diagnosis and treatment

Shoulder Pain Treatment in HyderabadShoulder Anatomy

A shoulder is made up of upper arm bone, shoulder blade, and collarbone. The shoulder blade has a rounded socket, called the glenoid, into which the head of the upper arm bone is perfectly placed. Muscles and tendons that keep your arm bone centered attached to the shoulder blade are known as Rotator Cuff.

Common Shoulder Problems:
• Bursitis
• Tendonitis
• Instability
• Arthritis
• Fracture (broken bone)
Other causes of shoulder pain include infection, tumors, & nerve-related problems.

Bursitis is generally caused by overuse or injury to the shoulder joint. Age may also be one of the factors that leads to bursitis. With age, tendons in the shoulder joint become less elastic and can bear less stress resulting in tears. Bursitis is common in people above 40 years of age and it occurs in elbow, shoulder, hip and knee

A cord that connects muscle to bone is known as a tendon and an inflammation in tendon leads to a condition known as tendinitis. Tendinitis may be acute or chronic. While acute tendinitis is cause due to excessive overhead activities like ball throwing, Chronic tendinitis results from repetitive wear and tear and degenerative diseases like arthritis

Tears of tendons may result from acute injury or degenerative changes in the tendons due to advancing age, long-term overuse and wear and tear, or a sudden injury. These tears may be partial or may completely separate the tendon from its attachment to bone. In most cases of complete tears, the tendon is pulled away from its attachment to the bone. Rotator cuff and biceps tendon injuries are among the most common of these injuries.

Shoulder impingement occurs when the top of the shoulder blade (acromion) puts pressure on the underlying soft tissues when the arm is lifted away from the body. As the arm is lifted, the acromion rubs, or "impinges" on, the rotator cuff tendons and bursa. This can lead to bursitis and tendinitis, causing pain and limiting movement.

Shoulder instability occurs when the head of the upper arm bone is forced out of the shoulder socket. This can happen as a result of a sudden injury or from overuse.Shoulder dislocations can be partial, with the ball of the upper arm coming just partially out of the socket. This is called a subluxation. A complete dislocation means the ball comes all the way out of the socket. Once the ligaments, tendons, and muscles around the shoulder become loose or torn, dislocations can occur repeatedly. Recurring dislocations, which may be partial or complete, cause pain and unsteadiness when you raise your arm or move it away from your body. Repeated episodes of subluxations or dislocations lead to an increased risk of developing arthritis in the joint.


Arthritis may also be one of causes of shoulder pain. Osteoarthritis, also called ‘wear & tear’ arthritis is the most common type of arthritis. Some of its symptoms include swelling, pain and stiffness. It progresses slowly and pain gets worse overtime. Rheumatoid arthritis is another form of arthritis that can affect shoulder joints.

People tend to restrict shoulder movements to reduce the pain caused by arthritis. This is likely to stiffen the soft tissue resulting in excessive pain in the shoulder joint and restricted motion.


Shoulder fractures generally tend to occur in older patients often due to fall. In younger patients fractures are a result of sports injuries, or a motor vehicle injury. Shoulder fracture can cause swelling and severe pain

Clinical Examination

It is advisable to seek immediate medical help in case of an acute injury with severe pain. After a thorough examination, the doctor would be able to determine the cause of the pain and suggest treatment options


Some of the tests suggested to identify the causes of pain and other shoulder problems include:

• X-ray helps reveal injuries to bones in the shoulder
• MRI & Ultrasound: These imaging studies help in identifying injuries to the ligaments and tendons
• CT scan. It provides a detailed view of the bones in the shoulder

• Electrical studiessuch as an EMG may be done to evaluate nerve function.

• Arthrogram – During this test, a dye is injected into the shoulder to give a clearer picture of the joint and surrounding muscles and tendons.
• Arthroscopy. This surgical procedure, allows the doctor to look inside the joint with a fiber-optic camera. Arthroscopy may reveal soft tissue injuries that are not apparent from other tests.
Activity Changes
Treatment generally involves taking good rest, altering daily activities, and physiotherapy to improve strength and flexibility of the shoulder.
Medication to mitigate swelling and pain may be prescribed by the doctor. Pain medication should be taken only as advised by the doctor. Sometimes, in case of severe pain, steroids and other injections may be recommended
Generally, most patients respond well to simple treatment methods like rest, physiotherapy and medications. However, in case of recurring dislocations and rotator cuff tears, surgery (arthroscopy or traditional open procedures) may be recommended.


Your doctor may order specific tests to help identify the cause of your pain and any other problems.
X-rays. These pictures will show any injuries to the bones that make up your shoulder joint.
• Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound. These imaging studies create better pictures of soft tissues. MRI may help your doctor identify injuries to the ligaments and tendons surrounding your shoulder joint.
• Computed tomography (CT) scan. This tool combines x-rays with computer technology to produce a very detailed view of the bones in the shoulder area.
Electrical studies. Your doctor may order a test, such as an EMG (electromyogram), to evaluate nerve function.
Arthrogram. During this x-ray study, a dye is injected into the shoulder to better show the joint and its surrounding muscles and tendons. It may be combined with an MRI.

Arthroscopy. In this surgical procedure, your doctor looks inside the joint with a fiber-optic camera. Arthroscopy may show soft tissue injuries that are not apparent from the physical examination, x-rays, and other tests. In addition to helping find the cause of pain, arthroscopy may be used to correct the problem.


Activity Changes

Treatment generally involves rest, altering your activities, and physical therapy to help you improve shoulder strength and flexibility. Common sense solutions such as avoiding overexertion or overdoing activities in which you normally do not participate can help to prevent shoulder pain.

Your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce inflammation and pain. If medication is prescribed to relieve pain, it should be taken only as directed. Your doctor may also recommend injections of numbing medicines or steroids to relieve pain.


Surgery may be required to resolve some shoulder problems. However, the large majority of patients with shoulder pain will respond to simple treatment methods such as altering activities, rest, exercise, and medication.
Certain types of shoulder problems, such as recurring dislocations and some rotator cuff tears, may not benefit from exercise. In these cases, surgery may be recommended fairly early.
Surgery can involve arthroscopy to remove scar tissue or repair torn tissues, or traditional open procedures for larger reconstructions or shoulder replacement.