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Michigan Sports and Spine

A-C Joint Separation

Overview 
A shoulder separation is not truly an injury to the shoulder joint. The injury actually involves the acromioclavicular joint (also called the AC joint). The AC joint is where the collarbone (clavicle) meets the highest point of the shoulder blade (acromion).   If the force is severe enough, the ligaments attaching to the underside of the clavicle are torn. This causes the "separation" of the collarbone and wingbone. The wingbone actually moves downward from the weight of the arm. 

Causes
Injury (most commonly, a fall directly onto the shoulder

Symptoms
Bump or bulge above the shoulder
Pain at the end of the collar bone
Swelling
Pain when moving the shoulder, especially when trying to raise the arms above shoulder height

Diagnosis

Physical examination
X-rays

Treatment
Rest
Application of ice
Immobilization
Anti-inflammatory medications
Physical therapy
Ultrasound therapy
Surgery

Source: 
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00033  http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/shoulder-pain/ac-joint-sprain 

 

Adhesive capsulitis

Adhesive capsulitis is also known as frozen shoulder.  In adhesive capsulitis, the capsule of strong connective tissue that surrounds the joint becomes tight.  Stiff bands of tissue - called adhesions - develop.  In many cases, there is less synovial fluid to lubricate the joint.  The hallmark sign of this condition is being unable to move your shoulder - either on your own or with the help of someone else.

Cause
Not fully understood,  Risk factors include:
Diabetes and other diseases i.e. hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson's disease, cardiac disease
Immobilization due to surgery, fracture, or other injury

Symptoms
Dull or aching pain, usually over the outer shoulder area and sometimes the upper arm
Stiffness and/or inability to move shoulder

Diagnosis
Physical examination and medical history consultation
X-rays
MRI
Ultrasound

Treatment
Anti-inflammatory medication
Steroid injections
Physical therapy
Surgery

Source: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00071

 

Arthritis

Overview
Shoulder arthritis is a condition in which the normally smooth cartilage covering the ball and socket of the shoulder joint is lost due to disease, wear and tear, injury, or surgical misadventure.  The result is that there is bone one bone rubbing between these two joint surfaces.

Causes
Degeneration (wear and tear)
Osteoarthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Rotator cuff tears
Surgery for recurrent dislocations

Symptoms

Pain and stiffness in the shoulder

Diagnosis
Physical examination and medical history consultation
X-rays

Treatment
Physical therapy
Surgery

Source: http://www.orthop.washington.edu/Shoulderarthritis

 

Biceps Tendonitis

Overview
Biceps tendonitis is an inflammation or irritation of the upper biceps tendon.  This strong, cord-like structure connects the upper end of the biceps muscle to the bones in the shoulder.

Causes
Repeated overhead activities due to sports or jobs or routine chores
Often accompanied by shoulder arthritis, tears in glenoid labrum, chronic shoulder instability, shoulder impingement, and other diseases that cause inflammation of the shoulder joint lining.

Symptoms
Pain or tenderness in the front of the shoulder which worsens with overhead lifting or activity
Pain or achiness that moves down the upper arm bone
An occasional snapping sound or sensation in the shoulder

Diagnosis
Physical examination and medical history consultation
X-rays
MRI and ultrasound

Treatment
Rest
Application of ice
Anti-inflammatory medications
Steroid injections
Physical therapy
Surgery

Source: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00026

 

Burners and Stingers

Overview
Burners and stingers is an injury to the nerve supply of the upper arm, either at the neck to the shoulder.  The injury is named for the stinging or burning pain that spreads from the shoulder to the hand.  In most cases, it is temporary and symptoms quickly go away.

Cause
An injury to the brachial plexus (the cord of nerves that branch out of the spinal canal at the neck)
Risk factors include: contact sports, spinal stenosis

Symptoms
A burning or electric shock sensation
Arm numbness and weakness immediately following the injury
A warm sensation

Diagnosis
Physical examination and medical history consultation

Treatment
Prevention of further injury
Physical therapy
Shoulder pads

Source: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00027

 

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