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Treating the 3 Most Common Shoulder Injuries

Shoulders are among the busiest joints in the body, providing versatile movement of the arms. Sustaining an injury in this area can significantly impact your regular activities, making it important to understand the causes and treat them appropriately. Shoulder injuries can result from athletic-related activities to everyday wear-and-tear with the three most common injuries including:

1. Torn Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff consists of four tendons that attach the shoulder muscles to the upper arm. A tear can result from increased pressure on the rotator cuff as the arm is lifted. This condition often occurs in middle-aged and older patients who engage in physical activities requiring repetitive overhead arm movements, such as tennis and carpentry work.These torn tendons rarely heal on their own and often require surgery to reattach them to the bone.

2. Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder, also known as "adhesive capsulitis," is a condition characterized by gradual pain, stiffness, and loss of motion in a shoulder joint. It occurs in three stages: freezing (patient experiences pain and limited range of motion), frozen (pain decreases but stiffness increases), and thawing (range of motion improves). Symptoms often resolve on their own after a year, with treatment aimed at pain control and restoration of motion through heat application, pain medication, and physical therapy, but surgery may be necessary which include shoulder Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA) or shoulder Arthroscopy.

3. Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability is a chronic condition causing the upper arm bone to separate from the shoulder socket repeatedly, causing pain, swelling, popping/grinding sounds or sensations, and numbness. Patients can suffer from "subluxation," when the shoulder slips partially out of position or "dislocation," when the shoulder slips completely out of position. Shoulder instability is treated through closed reduction (realigning the shoulder joint under anesthesia), immobilization (patient wears a sling for four to six weeks), prescribed pain medications, and rehabilitation.

Visit Your Local Shoulder Specialists for High-Quality Care

The team of Dr. Joseph Novotny, Dr. Mark Hanson, and Dr. Joseph Newcomer have decades of experience caring for sports-related injuries and completing arthroscopic surgery (the insertion of a narrow tube attached to a camera into the shoulder). 

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, McLean County Orthopedics can help. Call us today 309-663-6461 or request an appointment online. 

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