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The Most Common Shoulder Injuries & How to Treat Them

Common Shoulder Injuries and how to treat them

A shoulder injury can take you out of the game and away from work. Some of these injuries require surgery, while others heal over time with physical therapy and the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation). Dr. Brian Cohen is a renowned orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder injuries and provides the safest environment and latest technologies for treating his patients in the Columbus area. 

Rotator Cuff Shoulder Injury

Most shoulder injuries we see at Cohen Orthopedic are rotator cuff injuries. This component is made of muscles and tendons that hold the shoulder joint and bones together. The rotator cuff allows you to lift your arm and reach above your head. When this part of the shoulder is injured due to a sport, fall or other trauma, you may experience shoulder pain, weakness, stiffness and tenderness. 

Rotator cuff injuries are treated with various methods ranging from physical therapy, RICE and anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid or growth factor injections, to surgery such as arthroscopy or rotator cuff repair. Dr. Cohen utilizes advanced technologies such as Rotium from Atreon Orthopedia, which is FDA-approved for rotator cuff repairs. Rotium, facilitates the healing of the rotator cuff tendon to the bone in a “more normal” structure, which provides a stronger attachment of the healed tendon to the bone. 

Shoulder Impingement 

This injury is often seen in patients who perform activities that involve repeated and excessive arm motion over the head, such as pitching, swimming and many overhead-work related activities. Shoulder impingement occurs when the shoulder muscles rub against the top portion of the shoulder blade called the acromion. The space between the rotator cuff and acromion narrows when you raise your arm and “impinges” upon the bursa (a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between tissues) and tendon leading to pain and irritation. It’s critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible if this injury is accompanied by shoulder inflammation, as it may lead to further damage. 

Shoulder impingement is treated with RICE, physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, corticosteroid or growth factor injections and surgery, including arthroscopy. 

Shoulder Instability 

Instability in the shoulder happens when one of the shoulder joints is forced into misalignment, causing joint dislocation. Patients with shoulder instability may feel like their shoulder slips out of place when they raise their arm and experience pain with the movement. Other symptoms include swelling, numbness, bruising and weakness. The dislocation may tear the tendons or ligaments in the shoulder joint and can damage nerves. 

Shoulder instability is treated by restoring the correct placement by moving the ball of the upper arm bone into the joint socket, which reduces pain right away. Rehabilitation is often necessary, which may involve bracing the shoulder in a sling. If physical therapy and bracing are unsuccessful, shoulder surgery can tighten and repair torn or stretched ligaments to keep the joint in place. 

Contact Cohen Orthopedic About Your Shoulder Injury 

You should never ignore shoulder pain or attempt to “play through” the injury. If you are experiencing symptoms of a shoulder injury, contact Dr. Cohen to schedule your appointment for “SameDay or NextDay.” 

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