The shoulder is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body. The shoulder normally has a wide range of motion, but because of it’s flexibility and complexity, it tends to also be easily injured.
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint made up of two main bones: the upper arm bone (humerus) and the shoulder blade (scapula). Above the ball and socket joint, is another bone called the acromion. Next to the acromion is the “AC joint” where the acromion meets a third bone, the clavicle. This is a common place for shoulder separations.
The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles that help move your shoulder joint. These muscles work together to help raise your arm over your head, rotate your arm in and out and also function to help keep your shoulder located or in socket.
There are several ligaments and tendons in the shoulder and also what is known as the “O-ring”, or labrum. Both the ligaments and labrum assist in keeping your shoulder in socket. Ligaments connect the bones of the shoulders and the tendons connect bones to surrounding muscle.
Diagnosis of your shoulder injury or condition will begin with a discussion of your health history and a physical examination. X-ray and MRI diagnostic testing may also be needed to confirm a diagnosis or eliminate possibilities before a course of treatment can be decided between you and the doctor.
Both non-surgical and surgical options will be discussed prior to proceeding with your individualized treatment plan. Many of the conditions or injuries that require operative care can be accomplished through arthroscopy or minimally invasive surgeries.