The shoulder joint can be described as similar to a golf ball (the top of the arm bone) sitting on a tee (a shallow depression in the scapula or shoulder blade), from which it can easily fall off! Therefore, it is inherently unstable, yet is one of the most mobile joints in the body, which makes it a common site of injury. The necessary stability and mobility are provided by the rotator cuff, a group of ligaments, tendons and muscles that surround the joint and anchor the bones in the socket.
Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida Practice Philosophy
At Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida, our practice philosophy is to treat early with noninvasive, conservative treatments for degenerative conditions in order to achieve a reduction in pain and overall improvement in function. We have found that for a majority of patients, conservative treatment can accomplish these goals without surgery. However, everyone is different and treatment depends on the patient’s age, level of activity, general health and the type of injury or problem.
Shoulder pain may be experienced in the areas around the shoulder or down the arm. Shoulder pain is commonly the result of age-related degeneration, arthritis, trauma, repetitive sports activities, overuse or increasing problems with instability, limits on range of motion, and impingement of soft tissue or bone.
Common Shoulder Problems
- Rotator cuff disease
- Rotator cuff tears
- Frozen shoulder
Common Shoulder Surgeries
Surgery is reserved for advanced and severe cases of shoulder pain, when conservative measures fail to provide improvements.
- Rotator cuff surgery may be recommended when the patient is passionate about an active lifestyle. The vast majority of patients find dramatic improvement in pain, strength and mobility. Patients may have the option for minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, mini-open repair and open repair.
- Shoulder Joint Replacement surgery may be recommended when the pain is so severe that it interferes with daily activities like reaching, dressing, or when the pain interferes with sleep, and there is weakness or a loss of motion.
- Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement is a total shoulder joint replacement but, the ball and socket positions are switched. This procedure is especially beneficial for patients who do not have a functioning rotator cuff.
Shoulder articles, videos, and resources to help manage your bone and joint health:
Our Shoulder Specialists
Antonio J. Flores, MD is a fellowship-trained hand, elbow and shoulder surgeon who trained at the Cleveland Clinic, and is also qualified in hand and upper extremity surgery.
Camilo Guzman, MD is a Joint Replacement Specialist, who received his fellowship training at the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics. Dr. Guzman specializes in the shoulder, hip, and knee.
Fletcher A. Reynolds, MD is a Sports Medicine and Joint Replacement Specialist, focused on the shoulder, hip and knee. He received his fellowship training at the Insall Scott Institute for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center.
P. Jeffrey Richards, MD is a fellowship-trained orthopedic hand, elbow and shoulder specialist. He trained at the University of Alabama, where he is qualified in hand and upper extremity surgery as well.
Charles P. Springer, MD is a Sports Medicine and Joint Replacement Surgeon focused on the shoulder, hip, and knee. He received his fellowship training at the Jewett Orthopedic Clinic.
Francesca Swartz, DO completed her Sports Medicine Fellowship with Dr. Kevin Plancher in Cos Cob, CT and Manhattan, NY. She worked with the United Football League in Hartford, CT and with the teams of Manhattanville College in Rye, New York.
When to call Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida
Shoulder pain can be referred from the heart, gallbladder or diaphragm. If you have shoulder pain coupled with difficulty breathing or tightness in your chest, seek immediate medical attention.
Call OSSWF when you have
- Significant shoulder pain accompanied by swelling, redness and tenderness at the joint with a loss of range of motion
- Pain that gets worse with movement
- A prior shoulder injury causes pain or pain gets worse
- When shoulder pain persists despite home care, and prevents you from performing routine activities or work
- Pain from reaching overhead
- Pain prevents you from participating in your favorite sports
When you seek a consultation with a shoulder specialist at Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida, you will receive a full physical examination, and a complete review of your medical history. You and your doctor will discuss your complaints and symptoms. Imaging tests will help confirm the diagnosis, and depending on your symptoms, lab tests may be ordered.
At OSSWF, we firmly believe our training and experience, as well as our interdisciplinary team approach provide better results with fewer complications. We constantly strive to improve our patient experience and you can expect the utmost compassionate and respectful care.