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Shoulder Treatment and Surgery

Shoulder pain is one of the most common reasons you might visit your physician' office. While many conditions don't require surgery, some do.

If you're experiencing chronic instability of the shoulder joint due to stretching, tearing or dislocation of the joint, stabilizing your shoulder and returning it to a good range of motion is key.

How the Shoulder Works

The shoulder joint is essentially a ball-and-socket joint. Because it depends on an elaborate array of muscles, tendons and ligaments, this joint is one of the most complex in the body.

The ball is on the top end of the humerus, the upper bone in your arm. The socket of the shoulder (glenoid), is part of the shoulder blade (scapula). At most, the glenoid only covers one third of the head of the humerus. To stabilize the joint, a rim of soft fibrous tissue called the labrum surrounds and deepens the socket. Supported by the muscles of the shoulder (the deltoid and rotator cuff muscles), the humerus moves and rotates within the socket, allowing you to raise and twist your arms.

The most common source of shoulder pain is arthritis — osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or traumatic arthritis. Rotator cuff tear arthropathy, a form that's unique to the shoulder, also can develop in the presence of a massive, irreparable rotator cuff tear.

Injuries and wear and tear also can cause pain.

Treatment Options

Your options depend on how much pain you're in, the source of the pain and how your shoulder is functioning. HonorHealth specialists will evaluate your condition and outline which options — nonsurgical and surgical — are best for you.

Nonsurgical

  • Physical therapy.
  • Medications.
  • Lifestyle modifications.

Surgical

  • Shoulder replacement surgery, total and reverse.
  • Rotator cuff surgery.
  • Other conditions.

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