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Shoulder injuries: Common Problems

The shoulder is a modified ball and socket joint that allows the most motion of any major joint in your body. It is an extremely important joint that allows you to position your arm and hand in space to accomplish your various normal daily activities.

Trauma, overuse, inflammation or muscle imbalances can lead to decreased shoulder function.

If you are having persisting pain, weakness, loss of motion or feelings of instability compromising your function or quality of life, you should consider seeking medical evaluation by your primary care doctor or orthopedic surgeon. Along with a clinical examination, evaluation will likely include x-rays and possibly an MRI.

Here are some of the more common shoulder injuries:

Shoulder Separation actually refers to injury to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint as opposed to the actual shoulder. This is a small joint consisting of the junction of the collarbone (clavicle) and acromion (part of the scapula, aka, shoulder blade). Injury typically involves a forceful fall onto the shoulder that stretches or disrupts the joint capsule or the associated ligaments, which stabilize the collarbone. You may notice swelling, a bump or prominence at the end of the collarbone at the top of the shoulder. This injury does not usually require surgery, but instead medical management and therapy. Severe cases may require ligament reconstruction and stabilization of the collarbone.

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