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Proper functioning of the shoulder (parts of the body that are also called the "upper extremities") – is necessary for daily activities. Writing, grabbing, driving, or lifting are severely limited if the muscles, nerves, joints, and bones in these areas are not working properly.
The design of the shoulders and their daily use put them at risk for injury. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, one-third of all acute injuries treated in emergency rooms involve the upper extremities.
Many injuries to these areas can be treated without surgery, and at BMC, physicians explore such options before considering surgery. However, there are times when surgery can be the better option. BMC surgeons are fellowship-trained in shoulder surgery and have extensive expertise in caring for the shoulders.
4th Floor, Suite 4B
Shapiro Center 617.638.5633
Recovering from an injury or learning to live with a physical disability or limitation can be challenging. Physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) can help patients regain strength or mobility, relearn skills, or find new ways of performing everyday tasks.
Conditions We Treat
Osteoarthritis, or "wear and tear" arthritis, is a common degenerative disease that can affect any joint in the body, causing inflammation with pain and stiffness. As the body ages, osteoarthritis is quite common; it usually effects people over age 50. There are two joints in the shoulder that can be affected – one where the upper arm bone (humerus) fits into the rounded socket in the shoulder blade (scapula); the other where the collarbone (clavicle) meets the shoulder blade; both can lose the cartilage that protects the bone, causing the bones to rub together.
The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that hold the upper arm bone in the shoulder socket and helps to turn and lift the arm. A rotator cuff tear can occur from an injury, or through overuse (from activities such as lifting). A partial rotator cuff tear can occur, as can a full-thickness tear, which is a split in the soft tissue. Symptoms include pain when lifting the arm on the affected side, pain while sleeping, particularly on the affected side, and loss of strength.
When a shoulder dislocates, it means the top of the upper arm bone has either partially or fully slipped out of the joint socket. Because the shoulder joint moves in all directions, it is unstable and prone to dislocation. Injury is usually the cause of dislocation. Swelling, pain, numbness, weakness, bruising, and other symptoms may occur, especially if the shoulder dislocation causes a ligament or tendon to tear or damages a nerve. Once a shoulder dislocates, chances are good it will do so again.
Shoulder instability occurs when the head of the upper arm bone is forced out of the shoulder socket. This can happen as a result of a sudden injury or from overuse. Once a shoulder has dislocated, it is vulnerable to repeat episodes. When the shoulder is loose and slips out of place repeatedly, it is called chronic shoulder instability.
- Shoulder Joint Tear
Associate Professor, Boston University School of Medicine
Sports Medicine, Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Shoulder Replacement - Total and Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty, ACL and Meniscus Surgery, Shoulder Instability, Rotator Cuff Surgery, Cartilage Surgery, Multiligament Knee Reconstruction
Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Medicine
Arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder and knee including ACL reconstruction, Shoulder rotator cuff injuries and instability.