Pittsburgh’s Top Shoulder Injury Specialists
Shoulder Injuries & Conditions
The shoulders are complex, strong, and flexible joints that provide athletes with the range of motion they need to pitch, pass, stroke, and more. Unfortunately, the hardworking and complex nature of the shoulders is also the reason why they're prone to injury, especially during athletic activity. Most of these conditions are progressive, so they may not present any symptoms or pain at first. However, as they worsen, they can severely limit an athlete's ability to compete and participate in their favorite sports.
At Sports Medicine & Joint Replacement Specialists, our team of sports medicine specialists is proud to have provided patients with state-of-the-art shoulder treatment for a combined 40 years and counting. We’re committed to offering patients the least invasive, most conservative treatments available, ensuring that your recovery is as quick, effective, and affordable as possible. When you receive care from Sports Medicine & Joint Replacement Specialists, you’re not just another patient – you’re a member of our family.
Whether you need the best treatment for arthritis available or support for a rotator cuff injury, we’re here to help. If you’re ready to receive care from the top orthopedic surgeons Pittsburgh, PA has to offer, don’t wait – schedule an appointment with Sports Medicine & Joint Replacement Specialists today.
Cutting-Edge Care for Shoulder Conditions
Most Common Types of Shoulder Injuries In Athletes
The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint, which means that the rounded end of the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into a shallow socket in the shoulder blade. This design gives the shoulder a wide range of motion, but it also makes it susceptible to instability and injury. Most athletes sustain shoulder injuries when the joint is forced beyond its normal range of motion, causing the ligaments and tendons around the shoulder to stretch or tear.
Some of the most common types of shoulder injury we treat at Sports Medicine & Joint Replacement Specialists Include:
- Impingement: Impingement syndrome occurs when the shoulder’s rotator cuff muscles and tendons become irritated and inflamed from rubbing against the shoulder blade. The condition is often caused by repetitive overhead motions of the arm, such as those often used in tennis, baseball, and swimming.
- Bursitis: Bursitis is the inflammation of the small, fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near joints. The condition often affects the shoulder joint, causing pain and stiffness. Bursitis is usually caused by repetitive motions or sustained awkward positions of the arm.
- Rotator cuff tears: The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and help lift the arm. A rotator cuff tear can occur suddenly, due to a fall or collision, or gradually, from overuse. Rotator cuff tears are most common in athletes who participate in throwing sports, such as baseball and football.
- Labral tears and instability: The shoulder joint is held in place by a strong ring of tissue (the labrum) that surrounds the socket. A tear in the labrum can occur suddenly, due to a fall or collision, or gradually, from overuse. Labral tears are most common in athletes who participate in overhead throwing sports, such as baseball and football.
- SLAP tears: SLAP is an acronym for Superior Labral tear from Anterior to Posterior. A SLAP tear is a specific type of labral tear that involves the uppermost portion of the labrum. SLAP tears are most commonly seen in athletes who participate in throwing sports.
- Bicipital tendinitis: The biceps muscle is located in the front of the upper arm and helps to lift the arm. The tendon that attaches the biceps muscle to the shoulder joint is called the bicipital tendon. Bicipital tendinitis is an inflammation of this tendon, caused by overuse or repetitive motions of the arm. The condition is most common in tennis players and baseball pitchers.
- Arthritis: Arthritis is a general term for inflammation of the joints. The two most common types of arthritis that affect the shoulder are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs with age, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints.
- Fracture fixation and management: A shoulder fracture is a break in one or more of the bones that make up the shoulder joint. The most common type of shoulder fracture is a broken collarbone (clavicle). Shoulder fractures can occur suddenly, due to a fall or collision, or gradually, from overuse.
If you're struggling with chronic shoulder pain or instability due to a sports injury or long-term condition, the team at Sports Medicine & Joint Replacement Specialists can help. We offer a wide range of nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for shoulder pain, and no matter the cause or severity, we'll work with you to find the best possible solution.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I find short-term relief for shoulder pain?
If you're dealing with acute shoulder pain, there are a few things you can do at home to find relief. First, try using ice for 20 minutes at a time several times a day. You can also take over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help manage the pain. If these conservative measures don't provide relief, or if your pain is severe, it's important to see a doctor.
At Sports Medicine & Joint Replacement Specialists, our team of shoulder specialists can provide you with a comprehensive evaluation to determine the cause of your pain. From there, we'll develop a treatment plan that works for you.
Why are athletes prone to shoulder arthritis?
The shoulder is a weight-bearing joint, which means that the bones and cartilage within the joint are constantly under stress. This stress can eventually lead to the development of arthritis, a degenerative joint condition. Arthritis most commonly affects the rotator cuff, the group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and hold the humerus in place.
Athletes are especially susceptible to shoulder arthritis because of the repetitive motions often involved in sports. These motions can put additional stress on the shoulder joint, speeding up the development of arthritis.
Do you accept insurance for shoulder pain treatment?
Yes! Sports Medicine & Joint Replacement Specialists is proud to accept a wide variety of insurances across Western PA, Ohio, and West Virginia. For patients in the Pittsburgh area, we accept both Highmark and UPMC. View our page to see our list of providers, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our knowledgeable and friendly staff.
How can I get started with the best shoulder arthritis treatment near me?
The team at Sports Medicine & Joint Replacement Specialists is passionate about making our care as easy to access as possible for all of our future patients. If you’re ready to schedule an appointment, just use our to select a time that works best for you.