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Anatomy and Pathophysiology

In the normal shoulder, the coordinated muscle tension within the rotator cuff compresses the humeral head, keeping it centered within the glenoid fossa. By coupling with the force of the deltoid, a fulcrum is created that allows strength through a wide arc of motion.

The overlying subacromial bursae reduces friction between the tendonous cuff and […]

Shoulder Impingement

Key Points

In clinical frequency, shoulder pain is exceeded only by low back pain and neck pain. The most common source of shoulder pain originates in the subacromial space, with the most prevalent diagnosis being impingement syndrome. Without treatment, symptoms will persist and usually progress. Shoulder impingement has been described as “symptomatic mechanical irritation of […]

Shoulder Instability

Basics Description Because of the shoulder’s extensive ROM, it is prone to instability. The term encompasses a spectrum of disorders of varying degree, direction, and cause. Instability should be distinguished from laxity. Laxity is the symmetric translation of the humeral head over the surface of the glenoid without symptoms. Instability occurs when the degree […]

Shoulder Dislocation

Basics Description The shoulder joint has the greatest ROM of all joints in the body and, thus, is at high risk for dislocations. Shoulder joint stability depends on various dynamic and static anatomical restraints. Dynamic restraints include: Tendon of the long head of the biceps Scapular stabilizers Rotator cuff muscles and tendons Static restraints […]

Shoulder Anatomy and Examination

Basics Description Bones: Glenohumeral joint: The humeral head articulates with the glenoid fossa of the scapula. Stabilized by the glenohumeral ligaments capsule and rotator cuff muscles The labrum of the glenoid deepens the joint and enhances stability. AC joint: The acromion process of the scapula articulates with the distal clavicle. Suspends the arm and […]

A Patient’s Guide to Cuff (Rotator) Tear Arthropathy

Introduction

The rotator cuff is a unique structure in the shoulder that is formed by four tendons. These four tendons attach to four muscles that help keep the shoulder stabilized in the socket (or glenoid) and help rotate the upper arm inward and outward. If the rotator cuff is torn and is not repaired, a […]