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Shoulder Pain

Silicon Valley Orthopaedics

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons located in Fremont, CA, Los Gatos, CA & Menlo Park, CA

Dislocations, rotator cuff tears, and arthritis are just some of the many causes of shoulder pain. If you're struggling to use your arms because of a shoulder problem, Nic Gay, MD, Masi Reynolds, MD, George Thabit III, MD, and their team at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics in Fremont, Los Gatos, Menlo Park, and Foster City, California, can help. They have extensive experience in diagnosing the causes of shoulder pain and using minimally invasive methods to resolve them. Find out why shoulder pain is affecting you by calling Silicon Valley Orthopaedics today or using the online booking form.

Shoulder Pain Q & A

What causes shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain that occurs suddenly is probably due to an acute injury. You could damage the joint when playing sports, in an auto accident, or after a trip or fall. If your shoulder pain comes on slowly, you might have an overuse injury from repetitive movements of the arm or an age-related degenerative condition.

Conditions causing shoulder pain that the Silicon Valley Orthopaedics team treats frequently include:

  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Dislocations
  • Labral tears
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
  • Shoulder instability
  • Cuff tear arthropathy
  • Biceps tendon rupture
  • Clavicle (collarbone) fracture
  • Little league shoulder

Getting an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your shoulder pain enables you to receive the most effective treatment.

How is shoulder pain diagnosed?

Your provider at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics starts the diagnostic process by checking your medical and family history and your current health. They examine your shoulder thoroughly and ask you to tell them about your shoulder pain, what triggered it, and what movements are most and least painful.

If your provider needs to see the inside of your shoulder in more detail, they might perform a shoulder arthroscopy. That is a minimally invasive procedure using a tiny camera on a slim, flexible tube to view the interior of your shoulder joint. Depending on what’s causing your shoulder pain, your provider might also be able to treat the problem at the same time.

How is shoulder pain treated?

If your shoulder pain results from a serious injury like a fracture, dislocation, or severe rotator cuff tear, the joint might need immobilization with a cast or sling. Misaligned fractures need realignment before putting on a cast, which your provider at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics might be able to do with their hands. If not, you would need surgery.

Less severe injuries and degenerative or overuse conditions typically improve with physical therapy, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and the use of hot and cold treatments. If your shoulder pain doesn't improve with these measures, your provider could inject steroid medication into the joint, which has a long-lasting anti-inflammatory effect.

Other possible treatments include biologics such as hyaluronic acid injections.

Would I need surgery for shoulder pain?

Most people don't need surgery for shoulder pain, but there are times when an operation may be necessary. Injuries like rotator cuff and labral tears might be repairable using minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques or robotic-assisted surgery.

Shoulder pain due to problems like advanced arthritis for which no other treatments can help might benefit from total shoulder replacement surgery. If shoulder instability is a problem, reverse total shoulder replacement could be a better option for improved stability.

To find the right treatment for shoulder pain, call Silicon Valley Orthopaedics today or book an appointment online.