Shoulder Injuries and Conditions

Figure 1A: shoulder joint in place.
Figure 1A: shoulder joint in place.
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The most movable joint in the body, the shoulder is also one of the most potentially unstable joints. As a result, it is the site of many common problems. These include sprains, strains, dislocations, separations, tendonitis, bursitis, torn rotator cuffs, frozen shoulder, fractures, and arthritis. The shoulder joint is made up of bones held in place by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Many shoulder problems are caused by the breakdown of soft tissues in the shoulder region.

Shoulder injuries can happen at any age. Common injuries in younger people involve the A/C joint and ball and socket joint called shoulder separations. These can occur after falls off of bicycles or after sports injuries such as being hit in the shoulder. These problems usually heal without surgery. Dislocations of the ball and socket joint usually occur after falls with the arm in a position above the head. Dislocations cause tearing of the shoulder ligaments that may need to be fixed surgically.

Older individuals usually have problems with the rotator cuff muscles. This can be tendonitis or bursitis and usually can be treated with exercises and anti-inflammatory medicines. Rotator cuff muscle tears usually occur in people forty years of age or older. These often need to be fixed as the torn muscle cannot heal itself.

Orthopedic surgeons at the UConn Musculoskeletal Institute offer world class care for a variety of shoulder conditions. Our experts use the latest advances in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of shoulder injuries which increase mobility, diminish pain, improve function and enhance quality of life.

Conditions and Treatments


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