Shoulder

The shoulder is a detailed ‘ball and socket’ joint where the humerus of the arm meets the shoulder blade’s scapular, acromion and clavicle (collarbone). The bones are wrapped up in a collection of crucial muscles and tendons called the ‘rotator cuff’. The bones are supported by cartilage and bursae sacs that perform as natural shock absorbers, allowing the joint to glide with ease.  The complexity of the joint is impressive but this also presents a host of vulnerabilities if not looked after correctly.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a common affliction that occurs when the muscular tissue that surrounds the shoulder becomes inflamed and tight, restricting movement and essential fluids from lubricating the joint. This produces pain and stiffness, creating a lack of movement and mobility. Frozen shoulder can be caused by lack of movement in the joint, common in those recovering from an injury or a stroke that halt all action. A link has also been made between frozen shoulder and diabetes, heart disease and Parkinson’s.

How is it treated?

Frozen shoulder is often treated with painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines to relax the tightened tissues. Physiotherapy can also assist with tailored exercise programmes that aim to recover movement and strength over time. Severe cases can be treated with steroid injections that can help over the short term but will not cure the issue. Regenerative medicine aims to heal the problem at the cause, rather than treating the symptoms. Using interventional orthopaedics, modern imaging technology pinpoints the optimum point to insert natural regenerative cells to solve frozen shoulder at the cause, releasing and relaxing the tissue, muscle and tendons that form the shoulder capsule.

Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is a grouping of important muscles, tendons and tissues that bind and hold the arm (humerus) into the shoulder (scapular). Rotator cuff injuries are normally a tear in the muscle that can manifest as a dull to sharp ache in the shoulder, leading to deterioration of movement and increasing weakness. This condition has multiple causes including hereditary issues, repetitive overhead usage, age and impact trauma.

How is it treated?

Rest and over the counter painkillers can offer relief if the tear is mild, as the tear should heal without complication. For more precarious cases, steroid injections can medicate serious pain and surgery is available to repair serious circumstances. Regenerative medicine is also a non-invasive option that injects your natural regenerative cells with pinpoint accuracy into the damage, using plasma-rich platelets to repair the damage at a cellular level.

Dislocation

A dislocation of the shoulder is an extremely common injury due to the socket being extremely shallow, meaning it can be forced out of place much easier than many other joints. A dislocated shoulder is generally caused by a fall or a sports-related injury, it is also far more common in those who suffer from hypermobility.  It causes sharp, acute pain with a distinct lack of movement of control of the shoulder and it may hang wrong. A dislocated shoulder can also occur in the same event as muscular tears or fractures.

How is it treated?

Normally an X-Ray will have been carried out to determine if the joint is solely dislocated and depending on whether there are any musculoskeletal complications, a dislocated shoulder can be popped back into place by a trained professional using ‘reduction’.

A fractured shoulder is a serious condition that needs immediate attention and assistance for recovery. Caused by a sudden impact through sports, falling or accident, it can happen in one or more sections of the shoulder, mainly occurring in the clavicle, scapular, or the top of the humorous. Most fractures are non-displaced, meaning the broken bone is still in its correct position. If a fracture is displaced, it may need corrective surgery.

For non-displaced fractures, the main treatment is support and rest. Keeping the shoulder propped up and immobilised using a sling and taking painkillers to alleviate pain as the fracture slowly heals. Displaced fractures may require surgery to repair and reconstruct damaged tissue, repositioning the bone.

Tendonitis is where the tendons of the rotator cuff become inflamed, irritated and damaged causing pain, soreness and the inability to perform daily movements. The shoulder is wrapped up in multiple tendons, connecting bone to muscle, when pinched, they can cause pain. Tendonitis of the shoulder is mainly caused by physical overuse of movement over the head, but it can also be a symptom of injury, age, arthritis, or diabetes.

Tendonitis of the shoulder is often treated using physiotherapy, a sling and establishing and reducing activities that aggravate the injury any further. Prolonged cases may be treated using steroid injections which only offer a short term solution or even surgery. Regenerative medicine is also an option, it inserts plasma-rich platelets into the tendon, repairing the damage at a cellular level. This is a non-invasive alternative that has a minimal recovery period.

Many joints around the body are home to ‘bursae’ which act as a defensive bumper for the bones and tissue. Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that 'oil the joints' by providing lubrication for tissue movement over the bone. However, the bursae can sometimes become inflamed, filling with too much fluid, causing pain and irritation in the shoulder. This can be caused by either trauma, infection or a prolonged medical condition.

There are multiple ways to treat shoulder bursitis depending on the cause. Treatments vary from injections to antibiotics to wearing a sling to support the shoulder as it heals. An issue with bursitis is that it can often return regardless of the cause and this is where regenerative medicine can help. Cutting edge non-invasive interventional orthopaedics utilise platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments to repair damage at a cellular level, thwarting the issue at the root.

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