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Shoulder & elbow

Shoulder & elbow joints are crucial for rotating, bending, reaching and flexing arms. But, repetitive movements common to a few occupations and sports tend to over-stresses the joint, causing fractures, instability, tendon tears and other disorders that may impede its movement. Some of the common conditions that occur at this joint are:

  • Collarbone Fracture
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Shoulder Arthritis
  • Bone Dislocation
  • Bursitis
  • Rotator Cuff Injury

We understand that shoulder and elbow problems can be debilitating and can significantly impact your quality of life. Our team of specialists is committed to providing quick relief of pain and discomfort, and helping you return to your normal activities as quickly and as comfortably as possible. In addition, our clinic has an easy appointment scheduling system, and our staff is happy to assist with any insurance or financial concerns you may have.

Shoulder and Elbow Anatomy

The shoulder joint is made up of three bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade), and clavicle (collarbone). The humerus sits in a shallow socket on the scapula, known as the glenoid, forming a ball-and-socket joint. This allows for a wide range of motion in all directions.

The scapula is a flat, triangular bone that sits on the back of the ribcage. It has several attachments for muscles and tendons, including the rotator cuff muscles and the deltoid muscle. These muscles and tendons play an important role in providing stability and control during movement. The rotator cuff muscles consist of four muscles that attach to the scapula and the humerus, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor, they are responsible for rotating the arm and stabilizing the joint.

The clavicle, or collarbone, connects the scapula to the sternum and helps to support the weight of the arm. It also provides a surface for several muscles and tendons to attach to, including the trapezius and pectoralis muscles.

The elbow joint is made up of three bones: the humerus, ulna, and radius. The humerus and ulna form the main joint, while the radius rotates around the ulna, allowing for movement such as turning the hand and flexing the arm. The biceps brachii muscle and triceps brachii muscle are the main muscles that control the movement of the elbow, the biceps brachii muscle is responsible for flexion of the arm and triceps brachii is responsible for extension.

The shoulder and elbow also have several ligaments that connect the bones and provide stability. The most important ligament in the shoulder is the glenohumeral ligament, which attaches the humerus to the glenoid and helps to keep the humeral head in the socket. The elbow’s main ligament is the ulnar collateral ligament, which connects the humerus to the ulna and helps to keep the bones in place.

Conditions

ACJ (Acromioclavicular Joint) injuries, also known as AC joint injuries or AC joint dislocations, occur when the joint connecting the acromion (a bony prominence on the shoulder blade) and the clavicle (collarbone) is damaged. The AC joint is a common site for injuries, as it is located at the top of the shoulder and is involved in many upper body movements.

There are several types of ACJ injuries, each with varying degrees of severity. The most common types include sprains, separations, and dislocations. A sprain occurs when the ligaments that connect the bones in the joint are stretched or torn. A separation occurs when the ligaments are completely torn and the bones are no longer connected. A dislocation occurs when the bones in the joint are forced out of their normal position.

Shoulder arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, is a common condition that affects the joints of the shoulder. This condition occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones in the shoulder begins to wear away, causing the bones to rub together and leading to pain, stiffness, and limited mobility.

The most common cause of shoulder arthritis is age-related wear and tear on the joints. As we get older, the cartilage in our joints can become worn down and damaged, making it more difficult for the bones to move smoothly and easily. This can lead to pain and stiffness, making it difficult to perform everyday activities such as reaching overhead or lifting objects. Other factors that can contribute to the development of shoulder arthritis include injury to the joint and repetitive motions.

The biceps muscle, located in the front of the upper arm, is responsible for flexing the elbow and rotating the forearm. It is a commonly exercised muscle, making it susceptible to injuries due to overuse or improper technique. Biceps injuries are a common occurrence among athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.

One of the most common biceps injuries is a biceps strain. This occurs when the muscle fibers are stretched or torn, often caused by lifting heavy weights or performing repetitive motions.

Another common biceps injury is a biceps tendon tear. This occurs when the tendon that connects the biceps muscle to the bone is ruptured or torn. This type of injury is often caused by a sudden, forceful movement or a fall. Symptoms include severe pain and weakness in the upper arm, as well as a visible lump or deformity in the muscle.

The clavicle is located just above the first rib and is the only bone in the body that connects the upper body to the arms. A clavicle fracture, also known as a broken collarbone, is a common injury that occurs when the bone that connects the shoulder to the sternum is broken. It can occur as a result of a fall, a direct blow to the collarbone, or from a sports-related injury.

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. The condition typically has three phases: the “freezing” phase, the “frozen” phase, and the “thawing” phase.

The freezing phase is characterized by a gradual onset of pain and stiffness in the shoulder. During this phase, the shoulder may become increasingly difficult to move, and the pain may become more severe.

In the frozen phase there is a significant decrease in the range of motion of the shoulder. During this phase, the pain may become more constant, and it may be difficult to perform daily activities such as dressing or reaching overhead.

Finally in thawing phase the patient experiences gradual improvement in the range of motion and a decrease in pain. However, it may take several months or even up to a year for the shoulder to fully recover.

Pectoralis major and minor are two large muscles located in the chest that play a crucial role in many upper body movements. The pectoralis major is the larger of the two muscles and is responsible for moving the arm across the front of the body. The pectoralis minor is a smaller muscle located underneath the pectoralis major and is responsible for moving the shoulder blade forward and downward.

Injuries to the pectoralis major muscles can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as overuse or trauma. These injuries can be quite debilitating and can impact an individual’s ability to perform daily tasks and engage in physical activities.

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attach the upper arm bone (humerus) to the shoulder blade (scapula). These muscles and tendons allow for a wide range of motion in the shoulder joint, and are essential for many everyday activities such as reaching overhead, throwing a ball, and even combing your hair. There are several different types of rotator cuff injuries and tears, including:

  • Tendinitis: inflammation of the tendons
  • Bursitis: inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that helps cushion the joint
  • Impingement: when the tendons or bursa become pinched or compressed Tears: a partial or complete tear of the tendons or muscles

Shoulder and elbow fractures are a common injury that can occur in individuals of all ages. These fractures can be caused by a variety of factors, including falls, car accidents, and sports-related injuries. They can also occur as a result of osteoporosis, a condition that causes the bones to become weak and brittle.

The shoulder joint is a complex structure made up of several bones, including the humerus, scapula, and clavicle. Fractures to the shoulder can occur in any of these bones, but the most common site of injury is the humerus. A fracture in this area is known as a proximal humerus fracture and can range from a simple break to a more complex fracture that involves multiple parts of the bone.

The elbow joint is also made up of several bones, including the humerus, ulna, and radius. Fractures to the elbow can occur in any of these bones, but the most common site of injury is the end of the humerus bone known as the olecranon.

Shoulder impingement is a common condition that occurs when the tendons or bursa (small fluid-filled sacs) in the shoulder become compressed or pinched. The syndrome typically emerges gradually over time, with symptoms such as pain, weakness, and stiffness in the shoulder.

One of the main causes of shoulder impingement is repetitive overhead movements, such as lifting weights or playing sports like tennis or baseball. These activities can put a lot of stress on the tendons and bursa in the shoulder, leading to inflammation and compression. Additionally, poor posture, such as slouching or hunching forward, can also contribute to the development of shoulder impingement.

If left untreated, shoulder impingement can lead to chronic pain and limited mobility in the shoulder. Treatment options include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and in severe cases, surgery. It’s important to address shoulder impingement early on to prevent the condition from becoming chronic and debilitating.

Shoulder instability, also known as dislocations, is a common injury that occurs when the upper arm bone (humerus) is forced out of the socket (glenoid) in the shoulder blade. This can happen due to a traumatic event such as a fall or a sports injury, or it can be a chronic condition caused by repetitive movements or overuse.

It can be classified into three types: anterior, posterior, and inferior. Anterior dislocations are the most common and occur when the humerus is forced forward out of the glenoid. Posterior dislocations occur when the humerus is forced backward out of the glenoid, and inferior dislocations occur when the humerus is forced downward out of the glenoid.

Shoulder sports injuries and trauma can have a significant impact on an athlete’s performance. These types of injuries can range from sprains and strains to fractures and dislocations.

These injuries can be caused by repetitive motions, overuse, or traumatic events. They can also be made worse by poor technique or poor conditioning. Athletes who suffer from shoulder injuries and trauma may experience a decrease in their performance, as well as an increased risk of re-injury.

With proper treatment and rehabilitation, athletes can often return to their sport with improved strength and stability in their shoulders.

Tennis and golfer’s elbow are both types of overuse injuries that affect the tendons and muscles in the forearm. These injuries are caused by repetitive motions, such as swinging a racket or club, which can lead to inflammation and pain in the elbow joint.

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is characterized by pain on the outer part of the elbow. This pain is often caused by overuse of the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle, a bony protrusion on the outer part of the elbow. Golfers elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is similar to tennis elbow but the pain is located on the inner part of the elbow and is caused by overuse of the tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle.

The ulnar nerve is one of the three main nerves in the arm responsible for sensation and movement in the hand and fingers.

Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the ulnar nerve, which runs from the shoulder to the hand, becomes compressed or pinched. It is a common site for entrapment of the nerve and can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers.

While the ulnar nerve syndrome is a less common condition happens when the nerve gets compressed in a nerve canal of your wrist.

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