Types of Shoulder Conditions

Painful Shoulder Conditions

The shoulder is the most movable joint in the body. However, it is an unstable joint because of the range of motion allowed. It is easily subject to injury because the ball of the upper arm is larger than the shoulder socket that holds it. To remain stable, the shoulder must be anchored by its muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Some shoulder problems arise from the disruption of these soft tissues as a result of injury or from overuse or underuse of the shoulder. Other problems arise from a degenerative process in which tissues break down and no longer function well. Shoulder pain may be localized or may be referred to areas around the shoulder or down the arm.

How are Shoulder Problems Diagnosed?

Your surgeon will require a medical history and physical examination to determine the range or motion. The surgeon will also need to know the location of pain and level of joint instability/stability. The following diagnostic procedures may be required:

  • Medical history (the patient tells the doctor about an injury or other condition that might be causing the pain).
  • Physical examination to feel for injury and discover the limits of movement, location of pain and extent of joint instability.
  • X-ray
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Computed Tomography Scan (CT or CAT scan)
  • Ultrasound
  • Arthrogram
  • Arthroscopy
  • Electromyogram (EMG)

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