Normal Anatomy of the Shoulder Joint

How does the Shoulder joint work?
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Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator cuff is the group of tendons in the shoulder joint providing support and enabling wider range of motion. Major injury to these tendons may result in tear of these tendons and the condition is called as rotator cuff tear.

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Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability is a chronic condition that causes frequent dislocations of the shoulder joint. A dislocation occurs when the end of the humerus (the ball portion) partially or completely dislocates from the glenoid (the socket portion) of the shoulder. A partial dislocation is referred to as a subluxation whereas a complete separation is referred to as a dislocation.

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Shoulder Arthroscopy

Shoulder arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which an arthroscope is inserted into the shoulder joint. The benefits of arthroscopy are smaller incisions, faster healing, a more rapid recovery, and less scarring. Arthroscopic surgical procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis and the patient is able to return home on the same day.

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Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is the condition of painful shoulder limiting the movements because of pain and inflammation. It is also called as adhesive capsulitis and may progress to the state where an individual may feel very hard to move the shoulder.

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Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement is also called as swimmer’s shoulder, tennis shoulder, or rotator cuff tendinitis. It is the condition of inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder joint caused by motor vehicle accidents, trauma, and while playing sports such as tennis, baseball, swimming and weight lifting.

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Suprascapular Neuropathy

Suprascapular nerve is a mixed (sensory and motor) nerve that arises from the upper trunk of the brachial plexus. The nerve travels through the suprascapular notch beneath the superior transverse scapular ligament (STSL) of the shoulder and supplies the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles.Both the muscles are part of a group of muscles called the “rotator cuff”. The primary function of these muscles is to help arm movements at the shoulder joint.

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Long Thoracic Nerve Palsy

Long thoracic nerve palsy is a shoulder condition characterized by pain and loss of shoulder movement owing to damage or injury of the long thoracic nerve. This nerve evolves from the roots of neck vertebrae (C5-C7) and supplies to serratus anterior muscle that retains the scapula bone to the chest wall. Serratus anterior muscle is also involved in forward arm activities such as boxing, and in overhead activities.

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Spinal Accessory Nerve Palsy

Spinal accessory nerve palsy (SANP) is an abnormal shoulder condition that arises due to injury of the spinal accessory nerve. This nerve is a cranial nerve, originating from the brain and supplying the trapezius and sternomastoid muscles in the neck. The sternomastoid muscle helps in tilting and rotational movements of the head whereas trapezius muscle allows motions such as shrugging the shoulders or adduction of the scapula.

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Click on the topics below to find out more from the Orthopaedic connection website ofAmerican Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.