Shoulder Injuries & Disorders

Helping you return to your active lifestyle

If you play sports, have fallen or tend to overuse your shoulder, you may suffer from a shoulder injury or even a shoulder disorder. People of all ages suffer from them.

Our physicians have the expertise to diagnose and treat a wide range of shoulder injuries and disorders including:

  • Shoulder instability
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Arthritis

Shoulder Instability

You can have shoulder instability from an injury or due to weak structures of the shoulder. In either case, a resulting dislocation may weaken ligaments, tendons and muscles, and make the shoulder vulnerable to repeated dislocations.

Non-surgical treatments for shoulder instability (such as anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy) can take several months to show results. In cases where physical therapy doesn’t show sufficient results, or in more severe cases of shoulder instability, minimally invasive surgery can repair torn or stretched ligaments. Following surgery, physical therapy can help you return to normal activity as quickly as possible.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff consists of a group of four tendons that work together to hold the shoulder in place. These tendons attach muscles to the bones of the shoulder. A lubricating sac (called a bursa) above the rotator cuff enables your shoulder to move freely. When you injure or overuse the tendons or muscles of the rotator cuff, the bursa can also become inflamed, causing pain in the shoulder.

Treatment of rotator cuff pain may simply require you to adapt the use of your shoulder to reduce strain on it. If severe, your physician may suggest minimally invasive surgery. As with other surgical interventions, your physicians may suggest that you get physical therapy after surgery to speed your healing so you can return to normal activity.

Arthritis

Loss of cartilage between your shoulder bones results in arthritis. Your bones scrape together, causing pain during shoulder movement. With intolerable pain, expert surgeons at IU Health Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine will replace your shoulder joint with an artificial joint. Shoulder joint replacement alleviates pain and improves the movement of your shoulder.

Overview

Shoulder Instability

You can have shoulder instability from an injury or due to weak structures of the shoulder. In either case, a resulting dislocation may weaken ligaments, tendons and muscles, and make the shoulder vulnerable to repeated dislocations.

Non-surgical treatments for shoulder instability (such as anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy) can take several months to show results. In cases where physical therapy doesn’t show sufficient results, or in more severe cases of shoulder instability, minimally invasive surgery can repair torn or stretched ligaments. Following surgery, physical therapy can help you return to normal activity as quickly as possible.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff consists of a group of four tendons that work together to hold the shoulder in place. These tendons attach muscles to the bones of the shoulder. A lubricating sac (called a bursa) above the rotator cuff enables your shoulder to move freely. When you injure or overuse the tendons or muscles of the rotator cuff, the bursa can also become inflamed, causing pain in the shoulder.

Treatment of rotator cuff pain may simply require you to adapt the use of your shoulder to reduce strain on it. If severe, your physician may suggest minimally invasive surgery. As with other surgical interventions, your physicians may suggest that you get physical therapy after surgery to speed your healing so you can return to normal activity.

Arthritis

Loss of cartilage between your shoulder bones results in arthritis. Your bones scrape together, causing pain during shoulder movement. With intolerable pain, expert surgeons at IU Health Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine will replace your shoulder joint with an artificial joint. Shoulder joint replacement alleviates pain and improves the movement of your shoulder.

On your visit, you can expect a full evaluation and explanation of your diagnosis. You will also receive your physician’s treatment recommendations. Your team will work with you to design a treatment plan that fits your individual needs. Treatments may include:

  • Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery
  • Anti-inflammatory drug injections
  • Physical therapy

Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery uses specialized instruments inserted into very small incisions and results in less scarring. It also helps speed healing so you can get back to doing what you love.

Physical therapists at IU Health are highly skilled, making their care particularly effective. Both surgical and non-surgical treatments often involve physical therapy to speed your recovery and help you regain normal activity.

Treatment

On your visit, you can expect a full evaluation and explanation of your diagnosis. You will also receive your physician’s treatment recommendations. Your team will work with you to design a treatment plan that fits your individual needs. Treatments may include:

  • Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery
  • Anti-inflammatory drug injections
  • Physical therapy

Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery uses specialized instruments inserted into very small incisions and results in less scarring. It also helps speed healing so you can get back to doing what you love.

Physical therapists at IU Health are highly skilled, making their care particularly effective. Both surgical and non-surgical treatments often involve physical therapy to speed your recovery and help you regain normal activity.

Patient Stories for Shoulder Injuries & Disorders

Medline Plus

MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web site produced by the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library. This website provides information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues.

Resources

Medline Plus

MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web site produced by the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library. This website provides information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues.