Rotator cuff is a group of muscles that attach via tendons to the shoulder bone. They act to rotate it. Tearing of these tendons is called a rotator cuff tear and causes functional loss and pain. Rotator cuff tears are initially with rest, analgesia, physiotherapy and injections. Tears that don’t respond to these treatments are best to be surgically repaired.
Shoulder instability results from injury or laxity of the structures that keep the shoulder joint in place. Shoulders that are loose due to are generally best treated with physiotherapy, whereas shoulders that have a specific problem that can be address with surgery are best treated surgically.
Shoulder impingement is caused by an inflammation of the tendons in the shoulder joint. Common causes are motor vehicle accidents, trauma, or playing sports such as tennis, baseball, swimming and weightlifting. It is treated with rest, physiotherapy, injections and can require surgery.
Painful arthritis of the shoulder joint that does not respond to non-operative treatment may require surgery. The goal of joint replacement surgery for arthritis is a functional pain-free joint. In the shoulder a normal joint replacement can be used if the rotator cuff is intact, whereas a reverse shoulder replacement must be used if the rotator cuff is damaged.
Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, results from inflammation of the shoulder which causes pain and loss of motion. Initial treatment is non-operative and involves physiotherapy and injections. Surgery may be considered for cases that don’t respond to these treatments.