The shoulder is made up of the humerus (upper arm bone) and the shoulder blade, which form a ball-and-socket joint that is supported by cartilage lining the joint, as well as a group of muscles known as the rotator cuff. The shoulder is relatively unstable, and is prone to injuries. Injuries affecting any of the components within the shoulder, if not managed properly, can lead to further damage, and ultimately a total shoulder replacement. When experiencing shoulder pain of any kind, it is best to consult an orthopaedic surgeon to properly assess the damage.Continue reading about shoulder pain and sports injuries »
The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that support the shoulder joint, and enable a wide range of motion for the arm. The rotator cuff is commonly damaged in sports, with tears resulting from overuse and muscle strain. Athletes that perform repetitive motions, such as pitching a baseball or playing tennis, are at risk of developing a gradual rotator cuff tear.
Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury include:
The labrum is a ring of cartilage that lines the shallow shoulder joint, and provides an additional layer of stability. Because the shoulder joint is relatively unstable compared to other joints, traumatic injuries affecting the shoulder can easily damage the labrum, causing it to tear. Additionally, as patients age, the labrum becomes less elastic and more likely to tear and fray.
Labral tears cause similar sensations to a rotator cuff tear, and often an MRI is required to determine the nature of the injury and actual source of shoulder pain. Symptoms of a labral tear include:
Shoulder injuries like rotator cuff tears and labral tears are commonly treated with arthroscopy. Utilizing arthroscopy, surgeons can perform minimally invasive surgery to repair the damaged components. Several small incisions are made, only large enough to fit instruments, including the arthroscope, which provides the surgeon with a view from within the joint using fiber-optic technology. Pencil-sized instruments are used to perform the procedure, and typically provide the following benefits:
Sports injuries that go untreated can lead to further damage, such as dislocating joints and damage to the protective cartilage that keeps bones from wearing against each other. Ultimately, this can lead to osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition that causes debilitating pain and stiffness in the affected joint. Dr. Robert Haar has extensive experience with sports injuries, and performs state-of-the-art treatment of all types of musculoskeletal disorders, including rotator cuff and ACL repairs, as well as knee, shoulder, and ankle surgery. Dr. Haar has an in-office outpatient surgical facility, fully accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, making him one of the few surgeons in the New York City area to provide comprehensive care.Continue reading about shoulder pain and sports injuries »