Osteonecrosis of the Humeral Head

A Patient’s Guide to Osteonecrosis of the Humeral Head Introduction Osteonecrosis of the humeral head is a condition where a portion of the bone of the humeral head (the top of the humerus or upper arm bone) loses its blood supply, dies and collapses. Another term used for osteonecrosis is […]

Quadrilateral Space Syndrome

A Patient’s Guide to Quadrilateral Space Syndrome Introduction Quadrilateral space syndrome (QSS) happens when the axillary nerve is compressed, or injured in the back of the shoulder. Sometimes the symptoms are caused by the compression of an artery in the same area. Quadrilateral space syndrome usually happens from overuse, especially […]

Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty

A Patient’s Guide to Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty Introduction Shoulder joint replacement surgery (also called shoulder arthroplasty) can effectively ease pain from shoulder arthritis. Most people experience improved shoulder function after this surgery. But, certain patients are not candidates for joint replacement of the shoulder because they lack the muscle function […]

Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy

A Patient’s Guide to Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy Introduction The rotator cuff is a unique structure in the shoulder that is formed by four tendons. These four tendons attach to four muscles that help keep the shoulder stabilized in the socket (or glenoid) and help rotate the upper arm inward […]

Weightlifter’s Shoulder

A Patient’s Guide to Weightlifter’s Shoulder (Distal Clavicular Osteolysis) Introduction Weightlifter’s shoulder is a painful deterioration of the distal end of the clavicle (collar bone). It is an overuse phenomenon that causes tiny fractures along the end of the clavicle. A breakdown of the bone (osteolysis) occurs. Weightlifters aren’t the […]

Shoulder Arthroscopy

A Patient’s Guide to Shoulder Arthroscopy Introduction The use of arthroscopy (arthro means joint and scopy means look) has revolutionized many different types of orthopedic surgery. During a shoulder arthroscopy, a small video camera attached to a fiber-optic lens is inserted into the shoulder joint to allow a surgeon to […]

Shoulder Dislocations

A Patient’s Guide to Shoulder Dislocations Introduction A shoulder dislocation is a painful and disabling injury of the glenohumeral joint. Most dislocations are anterior (forward) but the shoulder can dislocate posteriorly (backwards). Inferior and posterolateral dislocations are possible but occur much less often. The specific type of dislocation is based […]

Biceps Rupture

A Patient’s Guide to Biceps Rupture Introduction A biceps rupture involves a complete tear of the main tendon that attaches the top of the biceps muscle to the shoulder. It happens most often in middle-aged people and is usually due to years of wear and tear on the shoulder. A […]

Biceps Tendonitis

A Patient’s Guide to Biceps Tendonitis Introduction Biceps tendonitis, also called bicipital tendonitis, is inflammation in the main tendon that attaches the top of the biceps muscle to the shoulder. The most common cause is overuse from certain types of work or sports activities. Biceps tendonitis may develop gradually from […]

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

A Patient’s Guide to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Introduction Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) can cause pain and numbness in the shoulder, arm, and hand. Testing for TOS is difficult. There is no one test to accurately diagnose TOS, and other conditions can have similar symptoms. You will need to go through […]

Shoulder Instability

A Patient’s Guide to Shoulder Instability Introduction Shoulder instability means that the shoulder joint is too loose and is able to slide around too much in the socket. In some cases, the unstable shoulder actually slips out of the socket. If the shoulder slips completely out of the socket, it […]

Impingement Syndrome

A Patient’s Guide to Impingement Syndrome Introduction The shoulder is a very complex piece of machinery. Its elegant design gives the shoulder joint great range of motion, but not much stability. As long as all the parts are in good working order, the shoulder can move freely and painlessly. Many […]

Labral Tears

A Patient’s Guide to Labral Tears Introduction Since orthopedic surgeons began using a tiny TV camera called an arthroscope to diagnose and treat shoulder problems, they have discovered several conditions that no one knew existed. One of these conditions is an injury to a small structure in the shoulder called […]

Rotator Cuff Tears

A Patient’s Guide to Rotator Cuff Tears Introduction The shoulder is an elegant and complex piece of machinery. Its design allows us to reach and use our hands in many different positions. However, while the shoulder joint has great range of motion, it is not very stable. This makes the […]

Snapping Scapula Syndrome

A Patient’s Guide to Snapping Scapula Syndrome Introduction The scapulothoracic joint is located where the shoulder blade (also called the scapula) glides along the chest wall (the thorax). When movement of this joint causes feelings or sounds of grating, grinding, popping, or thumping, doctors call it snapping scapula syndrome. Snapping […]

Sternoclavicular Joint Problems

A Patient’s Guide to Sternoclavicular Joint Problems Introduction The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is important because it helps support the shoulder. The SC joint links the bones of the arms and shoulder to the vertical skeleton. Most SC joint problems are relatively minor. However, certain types of injuries require immediate medical […]

Osteoarthritis of the Acromioclavicular Joint

A Patient’s Guide to Osteoarthritis of the Acromioclavicular Joint Introduction Some joints in the body are more likely to develop problems from normal wear and tear. Degeneration causes the cartilage that cushions the joint to wear out. This type of arthritis is called osteoarthritis. Doctors sometimes refer to this type […]

Acromioclavicular Joint Separation

A Patient’s Guide to Acromioclavicular Joint Separation Introduction A shoulder separation is a fairly common injury, especially in certain sports. Most shoulder separations are actually injuries to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. The AC joint is the connection between the scapula (shoulder blade) and the clavicle (collarbone). Shoulder dislocations and AC […]

Adhesive Capsulitis

A Patient’s Guide to Adhesive Capsulitis Introduction Many adults (mostly women) between the ages of 40 and 60 years of age develop shoulder pain and stiffness called adhesive capsulitis. You may be more familiar with the term frozen shoulder to describe this condition. But frozen shoulder and adhesive capsulitis are […]

Shoulder Anatomy

A Patient’s Guide to Shoulder Anatomy Introduction The shoulder is an elegant piece of machinery. It has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. However, this large range of motion can lead to joint problems. Understanding how the different layers of the shoulder are built and […]