Fellowship Trained Orthopedic Surgeon
- David J. Howe, MD – Salt Lake City Central/Sandy
- James G. Macintyre, MD, MPE – West Jordan
Shoulder injuries are relatively common, especially in athletics whose sport involves throwing or frequent shoulder rotation. Repetitive or intense shoulder movement often puts the rotator cuff muscles under a lot of stress, which can lead to injury.
Shoulder problems can occur at any age. Years of use can take their toll, leaving individuals with conditions such as stiffness, loss of motion and even arthritis. Young athletes can suffer shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears, impingement, dislocation and separation.
Our physicians are highly skilled and experienced with arthroscopic shoulder surgery. This minimally invasive procedure is performed through small incisions that minimize postoperative pain and accelerate recovery. This form of surgery can be used to treat a range of shoulder ailments and injuries, including rotator cuff tears, labrum tears, bursitis and even bone spur removal. Depending on the severity of the shoulder injury or condition, surgery might be avoided with appropriate nonsurgical approaches such as therapy, injections or activity modification. This can minimize or eliminate down time and eliminate the discomfort and risks associated with surgery.
A number of our surgeons also perform shoulder replacement surgery. This more extensive procedure replaces part of the shoulder ball joint or the full ball and socket.
Diagnosis as well as medical and surgical treatment of shoulder pain provided by our clinics includes:
- Shoulder Dislocation / Acute Instability
- Chronic Shoulder Instability
- Shoulder Impingement
- Shoulder (AC) Separation
- Rotator Cuff Tears
- Labral Tears
- Thrower’s Shoulder
- Biceps Tendon Tear at the Shoulder (Long-Head Rupture)
- Arthritis of the Shoulder
- Arthritis Treatment / Shoulder Joint Replacement
- Frozen Shoulder
- Burners and Stingers
- Snapping Scapula Syndrome
- Shoulder Surgery
- Exercise After Shoulder Surgery
Risk Factors for Shoulder Injuries Include:
- Weak Rotator Cuff Muscles – Weak or fatigued muscles can lead to soft tissue injury
- Overuse – Shoulder pain is frequently caused by overuse of the shoulder
- Aging – Tendons lose elasticity as we age, making aging a risk factor for rotator cuff injuries
- Start overhead activities slowly
- After an injury, advance the intensity of activities gradually
- Warm up before engaging in sports
- Maintain proper posture
- Exercise regularly, making sure to participate in upper body strengthening
- Focus on proper throwing mechanics
- Strengthen core muscle groups
As soon as you notice any minor injury it is important to have it treated. The best way to prevent major injuries is to treat minor injuries first. If a minor injury is not given a chance to heal before it is subjected to the same activity, pain and inflammation may become chronic.
Sometimes it’s difficult to determine how serious a shoulder injury actually is. Simple muscle strains often appear similar more serious issues. Because of this, it’s important to receive early treatment and assessment from a trained physician; this may include x-rays or a special scan.
Shoulder injuries fall into two categories: acute and chronic. It’s critical that the patient and doctor discuss whether the injury came on suddenly or whether it came about with a slow progression of symptoms. If the shoulder issue has been bothering you for several days or weeks, be sure to tell your doctor all of your symptoms and how long you’ve been experiencing each one.
When to Seek Medical Attention
- The pain persists for more than a week.
- You are unable to work due to the pain/limitations.
- You are unable to reach up or to the side with the affected arm after a week.
- You are unable to move the shoulder and/or arm.