The Hand Center welcomes Jill Putnam, MD to the practice! Dr. Putnam will start September 1st.

Shoulder Specialists

The Hand Center

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeons located in Glastonbury, CT, Hartford, CT, Tolland, CT & Bloomfield, CT

Shoulder problems are usually painful and disabling, affecting your hand and arm as much as the shoulder itself. At The Hand Center in Hartford, Glastonbury, Tolland, and Bloomfield, Connecticut, the expert medical team provides specialized diagnosis and treatment of shoulder problems caused by everything from acute injuries to chronic joint degeneration. Find out more by calling The Hand Center office nearest you today or booking an appointment online.

Shoulder Q & A

What causes shoulder problems?

Shoulders are very flexible joints. They have the widest range of movement of any joint in your body. Shoulder problems like pain and being unable to move your arm properly are usually due to an injury to the joint or a disease affecting the joint.

Shoulders consist of three bones:

  • Upper arm bone (humerus)
  • Shoulder blade (scapula)
  • Collarbone (clavicle)

The humerus fits into a socket in your scapula called the glenoid. Supporting the whole joint is a group of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff.

All of these bones, muscles, tendons, nerves, and related parts that make up your shoulder are vulnerable to damage or deterioration that leads to shoulder problems.

What conditions affect the shoulder?

Conditions that are common causes of shoulder pain include:

  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Labral tears
  • Shoulder impingements
  • Chronic shoulder instability
  • Arthritis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Dislocations
  • Trapped nerves

At The Hand Center, your provider examines your shoulder to look for signs of what might be causing your problem. They look at your medical history and talk to you about your symptoms and other things like your lifestyle that could affect your shoulder problems.

You might also need an X-ray, CT scan, MRI scan, or ultrasound.

How are shoulder problems treated?

Most shoulder problems improve with conservative treatments like:

  • Rest
  • Manipulation
  • Hand therapy
  • Home exercises
  • Medication

These therapies are successful for most patients. When they don’t work, you’ll need further treatments like steroid injections into the joint. These injections can reduce inflammation and pain.

If you have a shoulder condition that won’t heal using these methods, your provider at The Hand Center might recommend shoulder surgery.

What types of shoulder surgery are offered?

Shoulder surgery could involve an open surgical repair of a fractured bone or badly torn rotator cuff. Where possible, though, surgeons at The Hand Center use arthroscopy to do shoulder surgery.

Arthroscopy is minimally invasive, so your surgeon only needs to make a few small incisions. They pass a flexible tube with a camera on its end (an arthroscope) into an incision. It sends back images of the inside of your shoulder that are displayed on a monitor that your surgeon uses to do the operation.

Using arthroscopy, your surgeon can shave bone spurs, evaluate your rotator cuff, and repair tears in the tissues.

In some cases, especially with advanced arthritis, joint replacement is necessary. You can have a replacement of just the head of the humerus (partial joint replacement), or the whole shoulder joint (total joint replacement).

To find out more about treatments for shoulder problems, call The Hand Center today or book an appointment online.