4 Shoulder Injuries to Worry About

Your shoulders are big joints that are used constantly throughout the day. Unlike your elbows or knees, your shoulders have a full range of motion; the motion makes our lives easier, but it gives much more potential for injuries. Shoulder replacement surgery can be a possibility for the following injuries that result from using your shoulders often.

Playing through the pain

  1. Swimmer’s Shoulder

This is the most common shoulder injury by far that requires shoulder replacement surgery. Swimmer’s shoulder is most often associated with swimmers, hence the name, but it can be common in any profession that requires constant upward motions in the shoulders.  That means painters, construction workers, and even bodybuilders are at risk of this injury due to improper use.

  1. Rotator Cuff and Labrum Injuries

A rotator cuff injury is another common injury that is associated with sports that require a jerking motion of the shoulder. Baseball is probably the most common sport that causes this injury because of the actual motion of throwing the ball. For players who throw extremely often, like a pitcher, the risk of rotator cuff injuries greatly increases. It will require surgery if it causes constant pain and inflammation, which will get worse with age.

The labrum is another common sports related injury that occurs in a piece of cartilage that is connected to the shoulder socket. It can sometimes occur in conjunction with the rotator cuff injuries because they are associated with the same movements. In theory, a baseball player can suffer from both rotator cuff injuries and a torn labrum.

  1. Arthritis

Arthritis is a constant threat to a large part of the population. It is most often problematic when it affects the hips or knees, but the shoulders are another risk factor for arthritis problems. When the range of motion gets reduced to a certain point, the joints will have to be replaced with surgery in order to fix the problem.

  1. Fractures

Everyone knows that fractures are cracks in the bones themselves, but what they don’t know is that they can be caused all over your body without noticing. Fractures not only occur from direct injury, but also from overuse that causes strain on the bone to the point of breaking. These cracks are not as noticeable because they are tiny, even microscopic.

The most obvious symptom from micro fractures comes from reduced movement as they heal over time. They are left to heal improperly because the person does not know they are there. Shoulder replacement surgery will be necessary to ensure movement is restored.

Your shoulders have a wide range of movement and they are required for nearly everything in your everyday life. If you are experiencing pain when you move your shoulder a certain way, or if you find yourself unable to move your shoulder with as much freedom as you could before, you should consult an orthopedic surgeon. Shoulder pain can often be remedied with physical therapy, but sometimes, surgery is the only way to truly heal the joint.

Shoulder replacement surgery sounds intimidating, but you will be thankful afterward for your restored motion and reduced pain.


3 Reasons for Elbow Surgery

Your elbows are probably a joint that you never think about, thanks to their relatively simple function. However, there can be a creeping pain that will make you notice the joint and start to worry about what is going on. Elbow surgery is a definite possibility for chronic pain, and here are three reasons why.

3 Reasons for Elbow Surgery

  1. Tennis Elbow

This is the most common sports-related injury that occurs in the elbow. The three different bones that make up the elbow can undergo a lot of stress throughout life before being worn down. However, certain motions can exacerbate this stress, especially if that motion is repetitive.

The name of tennis elbow comes from its common occurrence among tennis players, due to the jerking striking motions that the players have to make. However, other motions that involve the elbow such as hammering can cause the same problem. It is common among painters and construction workers as well.

Elbow surgery will be necessary for this problem if it becomes chronic to the point that damage is permanent. Before resorting to surgery, your doctor will probably have you try out physical therapy or reduced activities to help the joint heal.

  1. Improper Posture

Office workers are particularly familiar with elbow pain, especially dull stinging pain that radiates from the joint. It is seemingly unexplainable, but has almost entirely to do with improper posture in the workplace. In fact, this type of injury is associated with carpal tunnel, another injury that is involved with office work and posture problems.

The injury itself is caused by leaning on your elbow while sitting at work. If you find yourself cradling your head in your hand while staring at the screen, you are probably supporting your arm with your elbow on your desk. Doing this for extended periods of time throughout the year eventually damages the joint itself.

Eventually the pain that is associated can become chronic and the damage permanent, which means you will need to get elbow surgery.

  1. Broken Bones

Breaking your arm is an injury that requires immediate care from a doctor. While recovery takes time for the most part, it does require some input from you as well. That means following instructions from your physical therapist and sticking to your recovery plan.
However, despite your work with physical therapy, you are still at risk of complications associated with your prior injury. The elbow is the most at risk because it can become damaged while you are still in recovery. That is due to the fact that the injury will cause you to develop habits like improper movements or posture.

There are many reasons that could require elbow surgery. While injury from improper use is most common, sometimes other factors such as arthritis or osteoporosis, two things you have no control over, can damage the joint to the point that you need surgery. Consult your doctor for a plan on how to deal with the pain, and for advise on when surgery is a necessity to fully heal from the ailment.