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Shoulder FAQ

I am a pitcher in a AA pro baseball league. My coach had me bump up my training schedule to get ready for the upcoming season. Now I'm starting to feel pain and popping in the bottom tip of my shoulder blade, especially when I wind up and start to throw. What could be causing this?

Why do I sometimes feel popping and snapping in my shoulder when I move my arm?

What is snapping scapula syndrome?

I broke my shoulder blade a few years ago. Now I'm starting to feel and hear it thump when I raise my arm. Is my old injury related to this thumping?

My doctor suggested that I see a physical or occupational therapist for my problem with snapping scapula. How can this type of therapy help my problem?

I'm working with a physical therapist to help with my snapping scapula. She's having me do these funky push-ups where I have to hunch my shoulders forward at the end of each one. How does an exercise like this help people with problems from snapping scapula?

I am having part of my shoulder blade removed because of chronic problems with snapping scapula. My doctor said I have to wait at least six to eight weeks afterward before doing any kind of active exercise. This seems like an awfully long time. Why will I have to wait so long?

I am fed up with the popping and grating under my shoulder blade. My doctor diagnosed me with snapping scapula. He wants me to try a couple different treatments to see if I'll get better. But after all I've put up with, shouldn't I just go ahead and have a surgery to fix it?

I injured a nerve to my shoulder blade when my arm was jerked in a waterskiing accident a few months ago. For a while afterwards, my shoulder blade really tilted out. This seems to be better, but now I'm getting a lot of popping and snapping under shoulder blade. Is it from my injury? What can I do to correct the snapping problem?

One of my rugby buddies is going to have surgery for a shoulder dislocation. My shoulder has dislocated three times since I first injured it last season. I haven't had surgery and don't even know if I was given the option. Should I have surgery?

While skiing recently, I dislocated my right shoulder. This is the second time in less than a year for this shoulder. I'm in a sling, like last time. If I keep it in the sling longer, will it lessen the chances of this happening a third time?

I recently dislocated my shoulder. I've heard about a new surgery available to fix it. Does that mean I won't need to go through physical therapy? Frankly, I don't have the time.

The arthrogram for my shoulder showed no tear in the rotator cuff. But when I went for an MRI, it showed a complete tear. Why didn't the arthrogram show the tear?

I've been going to physical therapy for my frozen shoulder. The shoulder hurts a lot and doesn't seem to be improving. What are my options for treatment?

My doctor diagnosed my tight shoulder as "adhesive capsulitis." What is this, and how did it happen?

I hurt my shoulder in a water-skiing accident last summer. It's starting to dislocate more often, even with mild activity. Do I need surgery for this problem?

I've been diagnosed with a ganglion cyst on the nerve above my shoulder blade. My shoulder is painful, but I'd prefer not to have surgery. Are there any other treatment options?

I have a very large tear in my rotator cuff, and I'm going to have surgery to fix it. Does the size of the tear make a difference in whether the results of surgery will last?

I am 55 and had surgery to repair a tear in my rotator cuff last year. My recovery's been good so far. Can I expect these results to last?

My 60-year-old mother tore her rotator cuff. Now even the simplest activities are hard for her to do. Will surgery decrease her disability?

I've played tennis for years. Lately, I've had pain in my shoulder when I serve. What could be causing this?

My 72-year-old mother fell. Now she needs an operation to repair a torn rotator cuff. What can we expect after the operation?

I recently fell and hurt my shoulder. The doctor told me that I have a rotator cuff tear. What is the rotator cuff, and what part is usually torn?

I am going to have an operation to repair the torn rotator cuff tendon in my shoulder. What can go wrong with this kind of surgery?

I read an article in a sports magazine that gave some safety guidelines for young pitchers. How can I get my 12-year-old son's baseball coach to use some of these?

My 10-year-old daughter is pitching for her Little League team. What can she do to prevent an injury from using her arm too much?

I have a frozen shoulder. My doctor says arthroscopic surgery can give me more movement in the shoulder. But surgery's the thing that made it stiff in the first place. Can I expect good results from this procedure?

I've heard that a frozen shoulder can be released arthroscopically, without making big incisions in the skin. What kind of benefits can I expect from this treatment? Do the benefits depend on the reason the stiffness started in the first place?

I have a frozen shoulder. I've tried physical therapy. My doctor's even tried to manipulate the shoulder while I was asleep under anesthesia. Nothing's worked. What's next?

I've had two months of physical therapy for my frozen shoulder. I'm still in a lot of pain, and it doesn't seem like the movement is improving. Will the problem go away by itself if I just stop treatment altogether?

I dislocated my shoulder playing football last week. I'm 18 and have my whole sports career ahead of me. What are the chances I'll dislocate my shoulder again?

I'm just getting over a dislocated shoulder. What can I do to prevent this kind of injury from happening again?

I dislocated my shoulder. Should I have surgery?

My doctor says the pain in my shoulder is from a cyst pressing on the a nerve over the shoulder blade. How is this treated?

I had some shoulder surgery three weeks ago. I am doing my exercises faithfully, but there’s still quite a bit of pain. Is this normal?

I hurt my shoulder while playing tennis. After surgery to repair a torn muscle, the doctor sent me to physical therapy. I’m anxious to get back on the tennis courts, and it seems like the rehab program is very slow. Can I speed it up on my own?

I am 66-years old and recently had shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff muscle. The physical therapist I’m seeing wants me to get down on my hands and knees to do the shoulder exercises. This is really hard on my hips. Is there some other way to do this?

I read about a study that used EMG recording of muscles to find good exercises for the shoulder. How do they know for sure the device isn’t picking up signals from nearby muscles?

I am a 24-year old soldier in the U.S. Army. During basic training, I did hundreds of push-ups in a single hour. Two days later, I developed a problem called rhabdomyolysis. I’ve been taken off all physical training and go to physical therapy instead. Will I ever be able to do push-ups again?

What kind of anesthesia can I expect to have with a Bankart repair? I've had bad reactions to drugs in the past.

I'm a West Point cadet with a torn shoulder labrum in need of surgery. The doctors have told me about open versus closed methods of repair. Which is best to get me back to full speed ahead?

As a small business owner, I am self-insured. Is there any way I can save money on my upcoming shoulder repair surgery?

I'm trying to decide whether to have a partial or total shoulder replacement. Is one better than the other or just different?

I'm reading up on shoulder replacement surgery. I think I might take the plunge and have one myself. What does it mean when it says, "the patient crossed over"?

When I had my knee replaced many of my friends had already had this same operation. They gave me lots of advice and information. Now I'm getting ready for a shoulder replacement. I can't find even one friend or relative who's had this surgery. Are folks who have this done happy with the results?

I have an unstable shoulder joint after a bad fall. The doctor thinks a special CT scan will help diagnose the exact problem. What can this tell that can't be seen by a regular X-ray?

What is "shoulder instability?"

I recently had surgery for an unstable shoulder. The doctor commented that the socket was tear-shaped. Is this normal? Did it contribute to the constant dislocations I was having?

My mother had a total shoulder replacement six months ago. Six weeks later she started having all kinds of problems with that arm. The doctor says it's a condition called CRPS. Can you tell me what this is and what causes it?

Whenever I reach overhead with my right arm, the shoulder on that side automatically lifts up as if I'm shrugging. This doesn't happen on the left. What could be causing this to happen?

My 16-year old daughter had a bike accident and hurt her shoulder. The doctor must have done 20 tests before deciding what was wrong with her. Is it really that hard to pinpoint a problem in the shoulder?

I thought I had a shoulder problem. The doctor says it's the AC joint. My shoulder still hurts. What's the difference between these two problems?

I live in a rural part of Wyoming. I need an MRI of my rotator cuff. We have a local hospital with an MRI machine, but my doctor wants me to travel to a larger city with a newer MRI. Does it really make a difference?

My doctor wants me to have an MRI for my shoulder before doing surgery. I suffer from claustrophobia and can't go inside a tube like that. What can you tell me about the new open MRI?

I was being treated for a shoulder problem with ultrasound. At first I got better but then I got much worse. The doctor finally figured out my problem was really a bleeding ulcer from taking medications for my arthritis. Why would the ultrasound help if the problem wasn't really in the shoulder?

I've been diagnosed with shoulder tendonitis. The doctor has given me several treatment options. I can try drugs, steroid injections, or physical therapy. Which one works the best?

What is an "apprehension sign?" I saw in my medical report that I have a positive apprehension sign. I'm not usually an anxious person so I don't understand why the doctor wrote this in the report.

I just had surgery on my shoulder 10 days ago. An X-ray shows the screw holding the cartilage in place is poking into the joint causing problems. I really don't want to have another operation. Will this get better on its own?

I tore the rim of cartilage in my shoulder and had surgery to repair it. It's only been two weeks but I'm having sharp pain with some motions. Sometimes the shoulder "clunks" so loudly, my wife can hear it. What could be causing this?

What is an "interscalene brachial plexus block?" I'm having a shoulder manipulation. This was written in the doctor's orders.

My doctor wants to manipulate my shoulder because it's "frozen" and won't move. Can't I just work on this myself and get the motion back slowly?

I have two separate problems: a frozen shoulder and a pinched nerve in my neck. If I have the shoulder manipulated, it could make the nerve problem worse. What can I do?

I've had shoulder pain from an AC injury that occurred last month. The doctor wants to inject the joint. Should I do this?

I fell forward off my bike and hurt my shoulder. The doctor who examined me poked, pushed, twisted, and pulled my arm to find out what was wrong. Isn't there any easier way to diagnose a problem like this?

My 17-year old daughter had a freak accident at the bowling alley. She was standing next to a shelf when a heavy box fell and landed on her shoulder. She's having surgery now to repair a shoulder separation. What is this exactly?

I saw an exercise video that shows a series of push-up exercises. One is supposed to be easier than the others. One is the hardest and two are in-between. I can't do any of them and can't tell where to start. What do you advise?

What is the "Paxinos test" for the shoulder? I work with athletes who have injuries, but I've never heard of this test.

I thought I had a shoulder problem. The doctor says it's the AC joint. My shoulder still hurts. What's the difference between these two problems?

I live in a rural part of Wyoming. I need an MRI of my rotator cuff. We have a local hospital with an MRI machine, but my doctor wants me to travel to a larger city with a newer MRI. Does it really make a difference?

My doctor wants me to have an MRI for my shoulder before doing surgery. I suffer from claustrophobia and can't go inside a tube like that. What can you tell me about the new open MRI?

I went to a physical therapist for a shoulder problem. Ultrasound was used to heat the tissue before stretching and exercise. I was told it's a form of heat, but I didn't feel any heat. Can you explain this?

I was being treated for a shoulder problem with ultrasound. At first I got better but then I got much worse. The doctor finally figured out my problem was really a bleeding ulcer from taking medications for my arthritis. Why would the ultrasound help if the problem wasn't really in the shoulder?

I work in heavy construction and tore my biceps tendon last year. Despite a good rehab program, the results aren't good enough to go back to work full-time. I still have weakness and I can't lift the heavy loads required by my job. Is there anything else that can be done?

I'm going to have a biceps tendon repair next week. What kind of recovery and rehab should I expect?

What is the "drive-through sign?" I read the surgeon's report after shoulder surgery and this is listed.

I am the coach of a high school baseball team. Two of my best pitchers are out with injuries. One has a Hill-Sachs lesion. The other has a SLAP tear. What's the difference between these two problems?

My mother seems to be losing her ability to move. She can't raise her arms overhead to get dressed in the morning. Do older people lose the sense of where their joints are or is this a sign of early Alzheimer's?

I injured my left shoulder in a hang gliding accident. It's odd, but I feel as if my right shoulder is affected by my left shoulder problems. Is this possible? The right shoulder just doesn't seem to move as smoothly as before the accident.

I'm reading a report by my physical therapist about my shoulder rehab program. It mentions working on regaining joint proprioception. What is this?

My doctor wants to use ultrasound to look for tears in the rotator cuff around the shoulder. Can they see if there's any arthritis in there too?

When I was pregnant, the doctor took ultrasound pictures of the baby. Now I've torn the rotator cuff in my shoulder. They are going to use ultrasound to look for the tear. Is this the same test?

I'm 66-years old and have a lifelong fear of closed-in spaces. I need an MRI of my shoulder, but I'm afraid to get inside the machine. Is there any other way to get the same information without an MRI?

There were two employees in our office who had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in the shoulder. One person had a great result and has come back to work already. The other worker is still off with pain, depression, and loss of function. How do you account for the differences?

I went to the shoulder doctor for a torn rotator cuff. They had me fill out all sorts of papers asking lots of questions. Do I have this problem? Do I have that problem? What's with all the questions? Why do they want to know all this for a shoulder injury?

I've heard there's a way to treat shoulder dislocation with laser. Can anyone get this?

One of my shoulders dislocates anytime I reach overhead and pull down with my arm. The doctor has suggested doing a shrink-wrap operation to tighten it up. How do they keep from melting the cartilage?

I just had both shoulders treated with heat waves to shrink the tissue around the joint. How long will it be before I see any results?

Twenty years ago I fell and tore my rotator cuff. I'm finally going to have it repaired now. Can it possibly hold up another 20 years?

I turned 50 years old this year and joined a new group called the Red Hat Society. This is a group of women over 50 out to have fun. Most are 60 or older. Many of them say they've had a rotator cuff repair between ages 50 and 60. Why is this so common?

I found out my shoulder pain is from a torn rotator cuff tendon, along with compression of the bone that passes over the area. The doctor wants to remove part of the bone and repair the torn tendon. Do I really need all that? Won't the tendon grow back if the pressure is taken off?

My 17-year old son separated his shoulder playing football. The doctors say 'no surgery' just rest and let it heal on its own. Could he get back to playing football sooner with an operation?

I had a grade four AC joint separation playing rugby last year. Even though I had surgery to repair it I still don't have my full motion back. I've done all the rehab required. What can I do?

I went on-line and found an article about a new way to repair shoulder separations. The surgeons used a tendon graft from one of the wrist muscles. They say it was nearly as strong as the normal joint. Is this operation being done everywhere? I've been putting off having my AC joint repaired for the last three years. Maybe it's time now.

I went to the orthopedic surgeon for a torn rotator cuff. She talked a lot about "fixation" methods in surgery. I didn't really understand this idea. What is that?

I had a rotator cuff repair operation last week. They put me in a sling but didn't say how long I will have to wear it. If the tendon is repaired, why can't I move my arm?

I'm going to have a decompression and debridement surgery for a rotator cuff tear. What kind of restrictions are there after an operation like this?

I was part of a study at the university hospital where my shoulders were examined by ultrasound. They found both my rotator cuff muscles were torn (right and left arms). I didn't have any idea. How come I didn't have pain or something?

I'm a semi-professional pitcher for a farm league with hopes of making it to the next level. I've been reading about shoulder problems in pitchers. I'd like to do everything I can to avoid any. What do you suggest?

My son is a freshman away from home at college. He fell from a ladder and dislocated his collarbone. He tells me he had a 'closed reduction' and he's okay. What does this mean?

My daughter and I were in a car accident. She is a student driver and was hit from behind. The air bag didn't work and she struck her shoulder on the steering wheel. At first she seemed okay but now she's having trouble swallowing. Could that be from the accident? How could a shoulder injury affect swallowing?

I'm 23-years old and tore one of my rotator cuff tendons playing touch football with a bunch of friends. What are my chances it will heal on its own? Is my age in my favor?

At age 40, I tore my rotator cuff tendon playing tennis. I had surgery to fix it, but it tore again. Would I have been better off just leaving it alone?

Eight weeks ago I fell and fractured my upper arm. The X-ray shows very little new bone at the site of the fracture. I'll have to keep the cast on another two to four weeks. The doctor mentioned nerve damage. How will I know if there is nerve damage?

What is a Holstein-Lewis type of fracture? Evidently my father fell and this is what the doctor told him he has. Please explain.

I was a semi-professional weight-lifter for 20 years but had to retire because of chronic AC joint pain. Last year I had surgery to remove part of the bone and take the pressure off the area. I still have just as much pain. What went wrong?

I have a sharp, aching pain in the front of my shoulder. I can point to it with one finger. Would an X-ray show what the problem is?

What is the "dead arm syndrome"? MI heard on ESPN that my favorite baseball pitcher is benched for the season with this problem.

Our 20-year old son is on a baseball scholarship to college. He is one of several pitchers they use, but he's not the main pitcher. During training he was told he had a problem that could become serious and was given a bunch of stretches to do. What happens if these don't work?

I had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff tendon in my shoulder. It's been eight months since the surgery and I feel fine. Even so, the surgeon says the tendon didn't heal completely and has torn again. How is this possible? I don't feel anything different.

I had one of the new mini-open rotator cuff repairs three months ago. At first it was very, very stiff. Then I increased my exercises and re-injured the repaired tendon. Would it have been better to have the open incision operation after all?

I dislocated my shoulder six weeks ago while doing an adult outdoor ropes course. I think I should have surgery to fix the problem. My doctor advises a two-month course of physical therapy first. It seems like a waste of time if I'm just going to end up having surgery. Am I off base in my thinking here?

I have a question that may seem too technical but I'd like to find out if I can. I fell and landed on my outstretched arm tearing the labrum and dislocating my shoulder. This all happened about four years ago. The surgery went well but I have a scar across my shoulder. Last month my best friend had the same surgery. Her scar is teeny tiny compared to mine. Why the difference?

I went with a friend to the doctor's for a shoulder problem. The doctor was holding a handheld device against her wrist to test for a rotator cuff tear. How does that work?

I've seen two different orthopedic surgeons for a shoulder problem. One thinks I have tendinitis. The other thinks I have a rotator cuff tear. Both doctors did a bunch of tests. Is it really this hard to tell what's wrong?

My husband had a total shoulder replacement that didn't go well. First he had a blood clot after the operation. Now he has an infection in the joint. How do they treat the infection when the blood clot hasn't dissolved completely?

Mom's shoulder replacement has come loose. The doctor says it's no problem to go back in and repair or replace the loose part. The first operation was no piece of cake. Should we be worried?

Our son is a high school football player. When he plays offensive lineman he complains afterwards of shoulder pain. He says when he uses his arms in the blocking position and comes up against another player, his left shoulder "gives way." Is this something we should talk to the coach about?

I've discovered that I can pop my shoulder out backwards whenever I want to. It doesn't pop out on its own, just when I do it. Should I have surgery to tighten it up?

I had a rotator cuff tear repaired about two weeks ago. My arm is in a bulky sling with a big pad under my armpit. I'm having trouble doing anything with this thing. Is it really necessary?

I've heard it's possible to rehab a torn rotator cuff without surgery. How is that possible?

Mother is 77-years young (as she likes to say) and very active. She tore her rotator cuff playing tennis and had surgery to repair it. Unfortunately, it's been six months and she still has not regained her motion. Her shoulder pain seems worse than before the operation. Is this typical in someone her age?

Last year I fell and broke my wrist. Yesterday I wrenched my shoulder. I think I may have torn my rotator cuff. Since I know I don't want to have any more surgery, is there really any point in having an MRI?

What is rotator cuff disease?

I'm trying to decide about having a shoulder replacement done. How can a person tell if and when we really need a joint replacement?

Last summer I had a total shoulder replacement. I can't believe how much stronger my arm is now. Can a new joint really increase muscle strength?

I had a chronically dislocating shoulder that never responded to nonsurgical treatment. Then I had radiofrequency heat to shrink the shoulder capsule. Now I'm losing the cartilage in the same joint. Could this be caused by the heat treatment?

I had an operation on my shoulder to tighten it up and keep it from dislocating. Unfortunately, it worked too well. Now I can hardly move it at all. Will this gradually get better?

I'm 73-years old and just diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear (left shoulder). I'm normally right-handed so it doesn't seem like a big deal. The orthopedic surgeon who saw me assured me that I'm not too old to have surgery to repair this problem. What do you think?

Is surgery always needed for rotator cuff tears? What if I don't do anything?

I've seen two different orthopedic surgeons about a shoulder problem. One thinks it's bursitis, the other says it's a rotator cuff tear. I get the feeling if I saw a third doctor, I'd get a third opinion. Am I right?

My doctor says I have a grade 2 rotator cuff tear. What does that mean?

My 18-year old son separated his AC joint during a sporting event. I did the exact same thing 30 years ago when I was his age. I had surgery back then and returned to football the next season. His doctor just gave him a special sling and told him it would heal in time. Does this seem right?

I have a grade 2 AC shoulder separation. What are the different grades? What does grade 2 mean?

Our 18-year old daughter is just graduating from high school. She was on the volleyball team and tore the cartilage in the front of her shoulder. Now she needs surgery to repair it. I understand there are two ways to do this: open incision or arthroscopically. Which one is better?

My hotshot basketball playing son tore his rotator cuff and the labrum of his shoulder. After a very expensive surgery, he continued to dislocate his shoulder. Now we are faced with another surgery. How do we know this next surgery will be any better?

My adult daughter is going in for surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. She doesn't really know what kind of surgery they are going to do. The surgeon says it depends on what they find when they get in there. Does this seem reasonable? I'm trying not to interfere and let her manage her own affairs but I have my doubts.

The results of my MRI came back with the report that I have a massive rotator cuff tear. What does that mean and what happens next?

I have to have my shoulder replaced. What can I expect?

My friends have had hip and knee replacements, but none have had shoulder replacements. Why would this be?

I suspect that I may have a torn rotator cuff. I dislocated my shoulder several years ago and I still have pain sometimes, especially if I'm trying to reach up for things. What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?

I think I have a torn rotator cuff but I don't want surgery. Is there something I can do to help myself?

I hurt my shoulder a few months ago and was told that it was my rotator cuff. My doctor now says I should have surgery but why have I had to wait until now for that? Couldn't this have been done earlier?

Is there any way to tell if you have just hurt your shoulder by pulling it or twisting it, or if it is something more serious like a torn rotator cuff?

Okay so please help me out here. I've been told there are two ways to have my dislocating shoulder repaired. The operation is called a Bankart repair. They can do it open or closed. Which is better? How do I know which one to choose? Do I get a choice?

I am a volleyball player at the collegiate level. I can't tell you how many times I've dislocated my right shoulder while playing. Now that we are in the off-season, I'm going to have surgery to repair it. How long will it take to get my strength back?

Have you ever heard of an HAGL tear? That's what my rugby-playing son got at his final championship game. He says it was worth it but he may never play again. What kind of an injury is this?

Our daughter was hurt in a water skiing accident over the weekend. The doctor wants to inject a dye into her shoulder and do an MRI before doing surgery. We don't want her exposed to these kinds of chemicals. What would a test like this really show?

What is the proper treatment for a shoulder blade fracture?

How long should it take to for my schoulder blade fracture to heal?

Nine months ago, I fell on my outstretched hand and tore the rotator cuff. After surgery and rehab, I fell and tore it again. Despite all that, I seem to have good shoulder function. Was that first surgery even really needed?

I have a large tear in my rotator cuff. So far I seem to be able to move my shoulder okay. Surgery has been recommended. Do I really need it?

My 67-year old mother fell and hurt her shoulder. She tells me she has a Type 1 SLAP tear. I think I understand the SLAP part, but what does Type 1 mean?

I went to two regular doctors for a shoulder problem that no one could figure out. Several tests were positive for a labral tear. Others were negative. It wasn't until I went to a third (orthopedic surgeon) and had an arthroscopic exam that a SLAP tear was diagnosed. Is this typical or was my case unusual?

My father is going to have a shoulder replacement but the doctor said it is a "reverse" replacement. What does that mean?

At what point do the doctors decide to replace a joint like the shoulder. Mine's been hurting for what seems like forever, but my doctor says that he doesn't think a shoulder replacement would help.

Is it really possible to have a torn rotator cuff and not know it? My aunt tells me she was diagnosed with this type of injury. But they aren't going to treat it because it doesn't hurt. Does that seem reasonable to you?

I just got back from the hospital. I must have had six different tests to find out what's wrong with my shoulder. They finally diagnosed a torn rotator cuff. Why is it so complicated? Can't they just take one X-ray and see what's wrong?

I can't move my left arm up past my ear. It just won't go -- even when I try to force it. There's absolutely nothing on the X-ray to show what's going on inside there. How is that possible?

I don't know what's happening to my arm. All of a sudden, my shoulder is stiffening up and I'm losing my ability to raise my arm over my head. What could be causing this?

Is there anything new in the way SLAP tears are being treated these days?

My orthopedic surgeon thinks I have a SLAP tear of the shoulder. Do I need a second opinion? Or is this a fairly straightforward problem to diagnose?

I'm wondering if you could explain something to me. I've been diagnosed with an unusual rotator cuff tear. Well, I guess it's not so unusual because of my age (77 years old). But the surgeon says it's torn all the way down to the bone. Surgery will be done to restore the footprint. What does the footprint refer to?

I'm an athletic trainer working with weight lifters. I heard there's a new test that can be used to look for weakness of the subscapularis tendon in the rotator cuff. With so many older adults coming to us for weight-training, I'm trying to test everyone first before starting a program. What can you tell me about this test?

Five years ago, I fell while taking the garbage out. I landed right on my left side and separated my shoulder. I opted for conservative care and turned down the surgery. The surgeon said it was a mild-to-moderate shoulder separation so avoiding surgery was an okay option. Well, after all this time, I still have daily pain and clicking in that shoulder. Did I make a mistake by not having the surgery?

I notice when I look in the mirror that one shoulder is always much higher than the other one. What causes this?

I got involved in a touch football game with my 20-something-year-old adult children and their friends. I admit I'm a little out of shape and probably too old for this kind of thing. I broke my collarbone when I fell during the game. It healed on its own, but I still have a clicking sensation with I move my arm. And there's a bump on top of the collar bone. What causes those two things?

I watched at a soccer game as the assistant coach helped a young player put his shoulder back in place after dislocating it. I was pretty surprised someone could do this on the field. The question is -- will it hold if surgery wasn't done to repair the torn ligaments and muscles?

We were touring Japan with a group of high school students when one of the girls slipped and fell dislocating her shoulder. We thought she would have to have surgery in a foreign country. But it turns out, the doctor used a Japanese technique for putting the shoulder back in place with only a small amount of discomfort, no drugs, and no surgery. How do we get the word out to our doctors about this marvelous method?

I'm going to see an orthopedic surgeon for the first time in my life. My problem is a bum shoulder. I injured it years ago and it's starting to catch up with me. I am interested in being a good consumer of health care, so what should I expect at this first appointment?

My mother is having chronic shoulder pain that just doesn't seem to respond to pain relievers. I'm thinking about having her see someone but I don't know who to go to. We have a sports clinic in our town but do they know much about older adults? What do you advise?

My friends tell me not to be surprised when I see the orthopedic surgeon about a shoulder replacement because there are many and varied implants to choose from. I guess there isn't just one-size-fits-all or even one replacement type for everyone. What can you tell me ahead of time to help prepare me?

I went to see an orthopedic surgeon about getting a shoulder replacement. I couldn't believe all the fuss for a simple shoulder surgery. There were X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and tests galore. I'm thinking maybe I should just look for an old-time doc who will take the old one out and put a new one in. Do I really need all this prep work?

I used to be a pretty good ball player but I haven't picked up a baseball in 25 years. During a family reunion, I was the pitcher for our team. Oh boy -- my shoulder has been pretty ouchy ever since. Do I wait it out or is it better to see someone right away? I can't decide.

The orthopedic surgeon I saw at the clinic last week says I have a type I SLAP tear. It's in my left shoulder. Thankfully, I am right-handed. But I can't figure out how I got this because I haven't fallen down or done anything to hurt myself (that I remember, of course). How do these things develop?

How can you tell when someone's shoulder is double-jointed, just loose, or unstable? Our nine-year-old can pop his shoulder in and out of the joint. We're not sure if it's okay to let him do this or not. Maybe he's just double jointed. What do you think?

Can you tell me if this is typical? I had a shoulder injury no one could seem to figure out. The poked and prodded and tried every test imaginable. It wasn't until they finally did an arthroscopic exam that the surgeon could see the damage that had been done to explain all my symptoms. Is it really that hard to tell what's going on without surgery?

Is there a difference between a separated shoulder and a dislocated shoulder?

If a dislocated shoulder can be dislocated again so easily, why don't doctors operate on it the first time?

I read somewhere that being obese can make your shoulders hurt and not work as well. Why do people blame all problems on obesity?

If you have a dislocated shoulder, is it true that you are more prone to having it happen again?

I'm working with a group of inner city boys and young men in Los Angeles. Our focus is team sports like soccer and basketball. We do have some more individual programs like tennis and handball. We seem to be having a rash of shoulder injuries -- especially shoulder dislocations. Most of these fellows are Hispanic. Does that racial group tend to get injured easily?

In our physical therapy program, we are required to do a research project. I have chosen to do mine on helping reduce the number of shoulder dislocations in our local community. This is a problem that has been identified by the emergency room physicians. They say it seems to be on the rise. Right now, I'm just collecting as much information as I can find and see where it leads me. Can you tell me if this is a national problem?

I need a pep talk. I've done nine months of shoulder rehab (first with a physical therapist, then on my own). Despite all that, my torn rotator cuff repair didn't work. Now I'm faced with a second operation and more rehab. To be honest, I just don't feel up to it! How can I motivate myself to keep up the exercise regimen when it didn't work the first time?

I had a rotator cuff tear that was repaired two years ago. Today I have pain as bad as when it originally tore and I'm limited with what I can do at work, which may cost me my job. I'm trying to decide if I should just learn to live with it or go have another operation. Neither option thrills me.

I'm an avid sports fan, especially of baseball. I noticed one day how far back the pitchers move their arms when pitching. I tried to put my arm in that position and couldn't come close. How do they do that?

I'm involved in several sports including tennis and lacrosse. I've been reading sports magazines to find tips on how I can improve my own playing. I see a lot about off-season and in-season training. What's the difference -- like what exercises should I be doing or what training goes best in each season?

Our 17-year-old son participated in a sports screening clinic prior to starting his senior year in high school. They told him he has tight shoulders and should start a stretching program. Evidently the backs of his shoulders are what's tight. What's the best way to work on this problem?

I'm doing a daily at-home exercise program using some videos I got from the library. The instructor starts out with some warm-up stretches for the arms that I find pretty hard to do. The particular stretch I'm talking about has you reaching across the chest with one arm and holding it there with the other hand while pulling to get a little more stretch. Is this hard for everyone or is there something wrong with me?

When I raise my arm out to the side, I feel a grinding sensation under my shoulder blade. Sometimes it snaps loud enough for my wife to hear. It doesn't hurt but I wonder what it is.

Our daughter plays fast pitch ball on her high school team. She is the main pitcher but she's developed something they tell us is called snapping scapula. What's the best way to treat this problem?

Is 65 too old to have rotator cuff surgery? I've had a torn tendon since I was 50, but now that I'm on Medicare, I can finally have it operated on. As a senior, what kind of results can I expect?

I just had rotator cuff surgery and will start rehab in about a month to six weeks. I don't have a job that involves manual labor but I do enjoy a high level of sports activities on the weekends. I'm on an intramural volleyball team, play a couple rounds of golf whenever I can, and swim, bike, or run almost everyday. How soon will I be able to get back into action with those activities?

What is the most common way to break your collarbone when you're a teen?

Our wonderful Poppie (father and grandfather) took a bad spill over the weekend. He broke the upper part of his arm but ended up with a replacement of the entire shoulder. We're still wondering if it was really necessary to do that much surgery. He's a pretty healthy, active guy.

Can you help us figure out what to do? My mother fell out of bed and broke her upper arm into tiny pieces. She will need a shoulder replacement but the question is: what kind? She has a choice of the traditional ball in socket joint or the new reverse arthroplasty. Can you give us some idea why one might be better than the other?

My sister-in-law and I had the same surgery for a rotator cuff tear just about the same time (two days apart). But I see she's already out of her abduction brace and I'm still lugging mine around. Is it safe for me to stop wearing mine now, too?

I am thinking about having rotator cuff surgery done but I'm not willing to do it unless I know for sure it's going to work. Is there any way to tell ahead of time that the surgery will be successful?

My husband plays professional ball for a team I won't name. He had surgery last year on his shoulder and I'm worried that will always mean he might hurt it again. I worry about it enough I thought I'd do some checking on the Internet to see if you can tell me if this is true or not.

I'm part of a group of guys who play baseball almost every weekend. It's supposed to be just a fun activity but we're pretty competitive. I'm one of three pitchers on our team, so there's even a bit of competition among our own team members. I'm interested in finding out what I can do during the off-season and pre-season to keep my pitching arm in shape.

My primary care doctor thinks I have shoulder bursitis but wants me to have some ultrasound studies done to confirm it. Aren't there some simpler tests that can answer this?

When I lift my arm up and especially if I raise my arm and stick my elbow out, I feel a snapping or catching sensation. What could cause this and is it something that could be serious?

Our son is in the military and just emailed us to say he ruptured his major chest muscle bench pressing too much weight. They made this diagnosis without even an X-ray. Should we accept the physician's assistant's opinion or insist on him seeing a real doctor and having some X-rays taken?

Mother is 72-years old but fairly frail and immobile. She evidently tore a muscle in her chest when the nurses aide was helping transfer her from the bed to the chair. The doctor says not to do surgery (and we agree), but I'm just checking to see if you think this is the right decision.

My shoulder is clicking and clunking but it doesn't hurt. I had surgery five years ago (a Bankart procedure) for a torn labrum. Is the clicking a sign that the labrum is torn again?

I had a shoulder that just wouldn't stop popping out of the socket. I finally had it operated on and its fine but now there's a new problem: arthritis. Is that from the dislocations or from the surgery?

I am a competitive athlete involved in both contact sports and overhead throwing activities. My throwing arm has dislocated twice now. Evidently I have a significant labral tear. If I have the surgery done arthroscopically, I might be able to get back into action sooner than with an open incision procedure. Are the chances of dislocating again the same with both methods?

Am I too old to have shoulder surgery? I've had a bum shoulder for 20 years. I bet it has dislocated 10 times at least. But I'm getting too old to put up with this problem. Is it too late to have the surgery now?

I have a small rotator cuff tear I didn't even know I had. When I fell last week, they did an X-ray and MRI and found it. Evidently, it's been there awhile and wasn't from my fall. Should I do anything about it?

If I have a rotator cuff tear but it doesn't bother me, what are the chances it will just go away?

I work for an orthopedic surgeon as a surgical tech. I like to keep up with the latest techniques. Lately, we've been seeing a lot of younger, active patients with damage to the joint surface of the shoulder (very similar to knee problems we see). Can these shoulder cartilage problems be treated the same as knee chondral (cartilage) defects?

For once, somebody thinks I'm "too young" for something. Unfortunately, the problem is at age 42 I have severe shoulder pain from damage to the joint cartilage. Too young for a joint replacement and too old to keep playing mega sports with a painful arm. What are my options?

I tore my rotator cuff in a motorcycle accident. Just the subscapularis tendon was torn. That's the only injury I had. The doc said something about that being an uncommon injury. What can you tell me about it?

I'm 66-years-old and participating in the Senior Olympics for the first time. Right out of the shoot, I tore my rotator cuff (the subscapularis muscle). But I'm not giving up. I have to revise my training schedule with this new wrinkle. What would you predict for recovery time?

I am a relatively young guy (45-years-old). I had shoulder surgery for a torn labrum and ended up losing all the cartilage in the joint. Now I'm waiting for a total shoulder replacement. I don't understand what went wrong. Do you know anyone else this has happened to?

What is chondrolysis? My sister says she got this after having arthroscopic shoulder. She went from having a mild problem with her shoulder to a severe one. Now she's wishing she'd never had the surgery. Can anything be done about this?

Is everything that goes wrong with muscles, tendons, and joints related to age? I've had two shoulder injuries that the surgeon says are both caused by "degeneration". One was a rotator cuff tear. The other was a tear in the biceps pulley (something I'd never even heard of). I'm 72-years-old, so what's going to go next?

I just found out that I have a rotator cuff tear and damage to something else called a biceps pulley. I'm having surgery next week for both. Are these two problems part of the same thing, separate issues, related to each other, or what?

I knew I tore my rotator cuff a couple of years ago. But it didn't bother me so I didn't bother it (I didn't have surgery). When I started developing some shoulder pain, the orthopedic surgeon did an MRI on me and found that the muscle has atrophied and the tear has filled in with fat. Is that normal?

The MRI I had taken of my right shoulder showed that my rotator cuff tear (repaired 10 years ago) was no longer whole. Somewhere along the line, it tore again. I never felt a thing and the arm works just fine. Is it possible they misread the MRI?

I have a chronic shoulder problem that the orthopedic surgeon says is an "instability." It's not bad enough to justify the expense of surgery yet but it is affecting my daily activities. I've heard that there's a new platelet injection therapy for tendon problems. Would this help me?

I just came back from a clinic where all they do is joint replacements. Looks like I just got signed up for a shoulder replacement -- but not the standard model. I'm getting a reverse shoulder replacement. I heard all about the wonders and marvels of this design. Can you please tell me what possible downside there might be? I'm not wishing for any problems but I do think it's wise to be prepared for what could happen ahead.

My orthopedic surgeon says he has been doing reverse shoulder replacements for the last 10 years and that's what he is recommending for me. Ten years of experience does sound impressive but is that really enough to assure me a good result? Should I look for someone who has been doing this operation longer than that?

Round one -- I had X-rays and a bunch of tests done to figure out what's wrong with my shoulder. The doc twisted my arm this way and that. In the end, I was told -- you have a shoulder impingement but you need an MRI. The MRI wasn't "conclusive" so now I need "diagnostic arthroscopy." All this is adding up to a big medical bill. Am I just being led down the path of no return?

I just got a second opinion about my shoulder problem from orthopedic surgeon number two. The first one said I have an "impingement" problem. The second one said, impingement is a nonspecific term and I really have rotator cuff tendinosis. Can you please explain this to me? Are we talking about the same thing or are these two different problems? Who's right?

Is it possible to tear the rotator cuff and not know it? I don't have any pain but my shoulder just doesn't work the way it should. I seem to recall injuring my arm years ago. Now at age 62, I'm wondering if it is catching up with me. Do you think I should see a doctor?

With all the reports on rotator cuff repairs I've read about on-line, I'm getting the idea that the surgery isn't all that successful. And I'm in the process of trying to decide for myself whether or not to have this operation. What would you advise?

I am totally for this new approach to medicine demanding evidence that treatments prescribed really work. Right now I'm personally dealing with a shoulder impingement problem. I've been seeing a physical therapist but wonder if I shouldn't just have the surgery and be done with it. What's the evidence for or against this idea?

Have you ever heard of something called platelet-leukocyte gel? I saw an article in a magazine that said it is used to speed up healing after surgery. I'm having a decompression procedure for shoulder impingement. Is it something I should ask the surgeon about?

Our granddaughter separated her shoulder playing volleyball. They put her in a sling and said to rest it. That's it. Seems like that's how this problem was treated 40 years ago in my day. Haven't they come up with anything new or better than that in all this time?

I'm going to have surgery to stabilize my AC joint. It keeps dislocating and exercising it hasn't helped. What's the latest I should know about surgery for this problem?

I have had an X-ray, CT scan, and now an MRI of my shoulder. The surgeon thinks there is a very large ("massive" is the word he used) tear in my rotator cuff. He wants to do an arthroscopic exam next. If it's that big, is there any point to another test? Can it be repaired? I thought I heard him say "inoperable."

I've heard that surgeons are starting to use new and better ways to repair rotator cuff tears. I've been told I have a tear so bad it simply can't be repaired. Is that still true? Are these new techniques for people like me? I'm still young enough I want to keep everything well greased and going.

I have just been diagnosed with a subacromial impingement syndrome. I didn't injure myself that I can remember. It just started to come on gradually. First I noticed my arm wasn't moving all the way up. Then it started clicking and popping. Now I have pain that really bothers me the most at night. I'm racking my brain for what might have caused this. Any ideas?

Everyone I see tells me I have a shoulder impingement problem yet I keep having to go for more tests. First it was X-rays, now it's an MRI. If they know what's wrong with me, why do I need another expensive test?

I think I've talked myself into having surgery for a shoulder problem that has been diagnosed as a Hill-Sachs defect. What are my chances for a successful recovery?

Years ago, I injured my shoulder and opted to go to physical therapy instead of having surgery. The diagnosis at that time was that I had a Hill-Sachs lesion. Now I'm starting to have a sensation of "catching" when I move my arm from overhead back down to my side. Once in awhile, my arm actually gets stuck and I can't move it for awhile. Is it time for me to consider having surgery?

I am seeing a physical therapist for my shoulder problem (adhesive capsulitis) and I'm doing pretty well -- slowly getting my motion back. The thing that really holds me back is the pain. I was looking on the Internet and saw you can get the same injections to the shoulder as they say work for the knee. It's not a steroid injection but something else.

Do you think those acid injections they use in the knee might help my shoulder? I have a sticky (actually quite stuck) shoulder with no known cause (at least I can't figure it out).

I'm looking for information on the kinds of problems I might run into having a reverse shoulder replacement for rheumatoid arthritis. I understand these implants are used most often for people with osteoarthritis. Can they be used for people like me? I guess I should tell you I have one shoulder almost totally destroyed by RA, a torn rotator cuff on that side, and the same problem starting on the other side.

I know this is going to sound funny but I just came back from filing taxes with my tax accountant. She told me she had a reverse shoulder replacement for a bad shoulder from RA. This is exactly what I have but I didn't think it was possible to get a shoulder replacement because I also have a badly torn rotator cuff on that side. She said she had the same thing and that's why they used this type of implant. Should I ask my doctor about this?

I just came back from the orthopedic surgeon's office. I don't know if I should be upset or not. Twelve weeks ago, I had a rotator cuff repair. I opted for a repair instead of the full-blown reconstruction. But the CT scan showed the tendon is pulling away from where the surgeon stitched it to the bone. The surgeon didn't seem that concerned. I'm totally freaked.

I admit as an accountant, I tend to be a bit obsessive-compulsive. So help me keep my perspective here. I'm scheduled to have a rotator cuff tear repaired and I'm looking on-line for information about what to expect. I found several places where it says tendon repairs can fail. How often does this happen? Why does it happen? What can I ask my surgeon to do to keep this from happening to me?

What can you tell me about fractures of the arm bone after shoulder replacement? My mother-in-law is telling us that's what she has. We live on the other side of the United States from her, so we are trying to figure out what her options are and whether or not we need to get there quickly.

My husband was a football player years ago in college and damaged his rotator cuff pretty badly without doing anything about it. Now he's had a shoulder replacement with a special reverse implant. BUT the darn bone around the implant has come loose and fractured. What are the chances he can come out of this as good as he went in? He's had no pain and perfectly good use of his arm.

If I have arthroscopic surgery to stabilize my chronically dislocating shoulder, what kind of rehab should I expect? The surgeon says he will use an all-arthroscopic "bony bank bridge" method of reconstruction.

I'm 70 years old but still quite active. Last year, I fell and dislocated my shoulder. It never healed right and keeps popping out of the socket. I saw a surgeon who wants to do some kind of a bony bridge to stick a piece of bone back into the socket. Am I "too old" for something like this? I know I don't heal like I used to and this sounds ... complicated.

Three years ago, I had a very severe rotator cuff tear repaired. When I went in for a check-up on my worsening knee arthritis, the surgeon did a follow-up X-ray and ultrasound of the shoulder. Found out the tendon never really healed but I'm still much better. How do you explain that? Is it all just in my head? Is it because I thought it was repaired so the pain went away and I got more motion and could do more things? Weird!

I saw my orthopedic surgeon last week about having my very large rotator cuff tear repaired. I'm still mulling over the advice I got and that was: the tendon might not heal even with surgery but I might get some pain relief and better motion. And that means I might get some better use of the arm. I think the surgeon used the word "function" rather than "better use" -- that was my take on it. What do you think? Are all those mights worth taking the risk?

I had one steroid injection for my frozen shoulder so far. There's been no change that I can see so far. Are there some exercises I can do to go along with the injection treatment? Maybe that would help.

I am a pharmacy doctoral candidate (PharmD program) looking for some information on the use of steroid injections for frozen shoulder. I confess I am a first-year student and I'm asking on behalf of my Mom who has been diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis. I'd like to make sure she gets the best, right treatment. What do you tell your patients?

Please help! I've been told I may need a shoulder replacement. I have a certain affinity for my body parts and I'm not willing to have any of them cut out and replaced. I also am a very active relatively young (65-years old) person and don't want to give up my pickle ball, golf, dancing, or gardening. Isn't there anything else out there for people like me? What do you advise?

I've been doing some reading on-line about shoulder replacements for younger people (like me). I'm 55-years-old but my left shoulder looks like an 80-year-old's. I had a series of football injuries to that shoulder back in the day. Looks like it's catching up to me. The doc has already told me I'm too "young" for a shoulder replacement. So where does that leave me? Are there any other alternatives besides suffer and wait until I'm "old enough" for a new shoulder?

I've always thought I had a shoulder problem called "frozen shoulder." But now my physician tells me I really have something she calls "adhesive capsulitis." What's the difference anyway?

What do you think about surgical manipulation for a frozen shoulder? Will it help me or not?

I was reading on-line about how "nontraditional" treatment for shoulder pain is the wave of the future. What does this mean exactly?

Are they any closer to using stem cells to repair a torn rotator cuff? I'd like to find a way to regain full use of my shoulder without surgery. Wondering if stem cell research is going to provide the answer.

I have anterior shoulder instability and my surgeon wants to open up my shoulder joint to repair it.  Is this necessary? Why can’t he do this less invasively with arthroscopy?

My surgeon wants me to take some antibiotics prior to my shoulder surgery next week. Why does he want me to take these when I do not have an infection? Is an infection expected to occur?  

What is a massive, contracted, immobile rotator cuff tear?

How will I know what rotator cuff repair is best for me?

I am a 56 year-old female and have had nagging shoulder pain for about a year now and have gotten to the point where it’s hard to put on my coat. My physician says it is calcific tendonitis. Is there something that can be done for me?

I have calcific tendonitis and have been going to physical therapy for 2 months. How long should I be going to therapy before I seek other options? This seems to be taking awhile.

What is the Rotator Cuff Quality-of-Life Index?

My MRI demonstrates a rotator cuff tear will I need surgery or can it be treated non-operatively?

I recently was playing a pick up game of football and hit my shoulder really hard. I am now unable to shrug that same shoulder and have been reading about traction injuries of the spinal accessory nerve. If I do have one of these injuries, what is the current treatment recommendation?

I’ve always had shoulder blades that seem to stick out more so than other people. Is this something that I should worry about?

I am a sixty-year-old man and have had some nagging shoulder pain for awhile now. I recently got an MRI and I have a supraspinatus tear. I can move my arm as much as I want but it just hurts afterwards. The doc wants to repair it but I’m not excited about elective surgery. Is there another way or am I doomed to have surgery to get rid of this pain?

I am 45 and have a non-traumatic rotator cuff tear. I’ve heard that sometimes physical therapy can help with this so I won’t have to have surgery. Is this true?

What's the most likely thing to go wrong with a total shoulder arthroplasty?

Can a bone graft help with total shoulder replacement?

I am a collegiate baseball pitcher. Since the beginning of baseball season, the vague soreness in my shoulder has become centered in the back part of my shoulder, especially when I wind up to throw. The stiffness in my shoulder used to go away with a good warm up, but now even a warm up doesn't seem to help. What could be wrong with my shoulder? Will my problem just keep getting worse?

In baseball, what kinds of injuries are the most likely to keep players from the game?

I've had a few shoulder injuries from sports. Now my doctor says I need surgery to stabilize my shoulder. I don't want to wind up with a stiff shoulder. What type of surgery's best for me?

I've dislocated my shoulder a couple of times. My doctor wants me to try surgery. He says I can choose between regular open surgery and an arthroscopic kind of surgery. Which works better?

My doctor repaired the rotator cuff tendon in my shoulder 10 years ago. Now I've started losing motion in that shoulder, and it is very painful. I can still lift my arm over my head, but I am worried about having another surgery. What should I do?

After carrying my 20-pound baby over my arm, I started having terrible shoulder pain. The doctor thinks I may have rubbed the tendon of my rotator cuff against the bone enough to tear the tendon. What is the rotator cuff, and what does it do?

At 69 years old, I'm in relatively good health. But ever since I was in my mid-40s, I have noticed increased joint stiffness, and now I can't lift my arms fully over my head. Is this normal? What's preventing me from having full motion?

I started a weight-lifting program at home two weeks ago. When I increased to 20 pounds for shoulder movements, I felt a pop in my left shoulder. There was a twinge of pain at the time, and the next day I had extreme shoulder pain. I went to see the doctor, and she said I tore the supraspinatus tendon. There were no X-rays or other tests done. Shouldn't I have X-rays or MRI?

I am a 50-year-old male in pretty good shape. I would like to start a weight-training program at home. About five years ago, I had a motorcycle accident and hurt my shoulder. No treatment was necessary, and I gradually got better. I still have some shoulder pain off and on, but it doesn't keep me from doing what I want to do. Should I have some kind of formal testing done on my shoulder before starting with weights? I don't want to wind up with an injury.

I tore one of the rotator cuff tendons in my left shoulder six months ago. I faithfully went to physical therapy and did my exercise program for the first two months. Once the pain was gone and I could move the arm freely, I stopped doing the exercises. Is it safe now to sign up for tennis lessons?

I am on my high-school swim team. I have been swimming competitively since I was eight years old. Last season, I started to get shoulder pain doing freestyle. The pain is the worst when my hand goes into the water. Is there any kind of stretching or exercise program I can do for this?

My shoulder hurts when I lift my arm to fix my hair in the morning. After trying anti-inflammatories with no improvement, I had an MRI. This didn't show anything. Now my doctor is recommending surgery to look inside the joint. If the MRI is negative, is there any point in going any further?

I am 35 years old, an avid golfer, and unable to golf because of shoulder pain. The pain came on gradually over the last month. It gets really bad when I reach my arm forward in front of my face, and it's especially bothersome at night. What could be causing this?

I recently had a rotator cuff repair done with a button anchor. Now I am in a rehabilitation program, and I'm worried the device will break or come unbuttoned. What are the chances of this happening?

I am having surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in my shoulder. The doctor has described using an anchor to "button down" the torn tendon. How does this work?

My 16-year-old daughter separated her shoulder playing volleyball. She was treated with a sling, ice, and gentle movement until the pain went away. Now she has full motion without pain, but there is an ugly bump on her collarbone. She is a model for the local mall and wants to have this bump removed. Will this affect her shoulder motion?

My teenage son separated his shoulder in a football game. The doctor has advised surgery. The doctor explained that my son could get better on his own without surgery, but there is no way to decide this ahead of time. What could happen if my son doesn't have surgery?

I recently separated my shoulder in a car accident. Can you explain what exactly this means?

I dislocated my shoulder some time ago. I went to physical therapy for rehab, but now I have been discharged. I notice that when my arm is at my side and my elbow is bent, I can move my hand away from my body much further on the injured side compared to the other side. Why is this?

Is there a certain age when the risk of shoulder dislocation is the highest?

How often do people dislocate their shoulders more than once?

I had surgery for a shoulder problem last month. I was in and out of the hospital the same day. Even though I was feeling fine, the nursing staff wouldn't let me go home until I had met certain goals. Wasn't this a waste of time and money?

Before having shoulder surgery next week, I met with the nursing staff at the hospital. They carefully explained all of the steps before, during, and after surgery. They mentioned that I will be able to use morphine whenever I want for pain. I am worried about becoming addicted to this drug. Can't I go without pain medication?

I am going to have surgery to repair the rotator cuff tendons in my shoulder. The doctor has offered me the choice between two different types of anesthesia: general and regional. What are the advantages and disadvantages of these?

I have a moderate rotator cuff tear. I haven't had relief from physical therapy and medications. Now we're talking about surgery. My doctor says there are a couple of ways to approach surgery for tears like mine. What type of surgery is best?

What is acromioplasty? How will it help my shoulder?

I have a fairly minor rotator cuff tear. My doctor is ordering a type of surgery called acromioplasty to "decompress" the tendons in the shoulder area. Will this take away the pain in my shoulder? And can I expect the results to last?

I had a rotator cuff repair a year ago. The doctor used four metal anchors to hold the torn tendon in place. I am planning to fly overseas next month. Will the metal anchors set off the security system?

My husband had a total shoulder joint replacement. During the operation, his upper arm bone fractured. How do they take care of this?

I'm going to have my left shoulder joint replaced because of severe arthritis. The doctor told me that he might only replace half the joint. What is this decision based on?

The doctor says I have “advanced stage” of shoulder arthritis. What does this mean?

I was just told that I have rheumatoid arthritis. I'm only 36 years old. So far, only my hands are affected. What other joints will develop symptoms?

I have a painful right shoulder from rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Everyone tells me not to have cortisone injections. When is this recommended?

I have arthritis in several joints. My doctor has suggested surgery to replace my shoulder and my knee joints. Which one should be done first?

When exercising, what is a "kinetic chain"?

I am a competitive swimmer. I know it's good to strengthen my abdominal muscles, but why?

I had rotator cuff surgery three weeks ago. I'm still in an immobilizer and with a special pillow under my arm. I'm not supposed to move my shoulder unless the physical therapist does it for me. I'm really worried about getting a frozen shoulder. What are the chances of this happening?

I'm 78-years old and have been diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear and osteoporosis. I've been told the osteoporosis puts me at risk for a failed rotator cuff repair. If the muscle is the problem, what difference does it make if the bones are brittle?

I tore the rotator cuff of my left shoulder last year. I tried treating it with drugs and physical therapy but it didn't get better. Now I have to have an operation. Did I do the wrong thing by waiting to have surgery?

Does it make any difference what age you are when having a shoulder replacement? I'm 82 but still going strong except for the arthritis in my left shoulder. At my age is it worth it to go ahead with this kind of operation?

I need part of my shoulder replaced (the ball portion but not the socket). Will I just develop arthritis in the socket later and need to have it replaced eventually? Maybe I should just have the whole shoulder replaced now. What do you think?

My doctor is advising me to have a partial shoulder joint replacement. I just can't decide. What if it doesn't work? What if I'm worse off than I am now? At least now I can get along, even if I can't do a lot of things I'd like to do.

I went with my fourth grade son on a field trip to the local museum of natural science. I noticed the skeleton on my display had a very small shoulder socket. The round part of the upper arm barely fit. Is that normal? What holds it together?

As a mother of two boys on a high school baseball team, I notice there are a lot of shoulder injuries. Most seem to occur with overhead throwing. What causes this to happen?

I hurt my left shoulder playing soccer and went to see the doctor for some tests. One of the tests was just like hurting it all over again. This can't be good for the injury. Why do they do that?

My wife is a dental hygienist and uses her hands and arms all day long. Three weeks ago she fell onto her outstretched arm. Since then she's had severe, sharp pain in the shoulder on that side. At her age (48) the doctor thinks she'll need an operation. An MRI has been ordered, but the insurance company has to approve it first. Will this delay make the problem worse?

I've heard there are braces that can be worn during sports play for an unstable shoulder. What can you tell me about these?

I just started playing women's softball at the college level and now I've dislocated my shoulder. Can I keep playing and get it treated during the off-season?

I'm a college-level football player with a dislocated (and reduced) shoulder. My ability to stay in school depends on a football scholarship. I can't afford to sit out the rest of the season. If I do everything the physical therapist tells me, how soon can I expect to get back out on the field?

I had a heat treatment to shrink my shoulder about five years ago. It was pretty experimental then. I had a good result. Is this treatment still being used?

I just had a special heat treatment to tighten up an unstable shoulder joint. Now I'm worried that the joint won't be able to relax. How do they shrink the capsule but still keep the motion? I'm in a sling so I can't move it just yet anyway.

Six weeks ago I had thermal shrinking of my shoulder done. I'm supposed to be able to take my sling off and increase the use of my arm but my neck keeps going into painful spasms. Is this normal?

I watched an exercise program on TV at home. One of the exercises was to reach the hand behind the back and move the fingers up as close to the neck as possible. I noticed my right arm couldn't go nearly as far as my left. Is this normal?

My neighbor's been complaining of shoulder pain off and on for years now. Seems like most people I know with shoulder pain have it for a few days and it goes away. Could there be something seriously wrong with my friend?

My 77-year old mother is going to have therapy for shoulder pain from a fall she took at home. The X-ray showed it wasn't broken, but there's a lot of arthritis in the joint. Can therapy really help someone like this?

I'm going to have an arthroscopic release of a frozen shoulder next week. Can you tell me what is done during this operation?

I was in the cardiac intensive care unit for three weeks after a very severe heart attack. Ever since then I haven't been able to move my arm over head. The doctor says it's a "frozen shoulder." Nothing shows on the X-ray, so what's frozen?

What is a resistant frozen shoulder? I thought a frozen shoulder is stuck and won't move. Isn't this just calling it a frozen frozen shoulder?

What's an acromioplasty? My sister is having one next month. I'm supposed to go help take care of her after the operation.

I'm 48 years old with an old rotator cuff tear. I've tried rehab and I've done exercises for five years. I can't seem to reduce the pain or get any increase in motion so I've decided to have surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff. Will this really take care of the problem?

I went to the Mayo Clinic for shoulder surgery 10 years ago. It turned out fine but they keep sending me letters asking me questions about my pain and motion. I keep telling them I'm fine. Is there any way to get off their mailing list?

My 17-year-old son injured a nerve in his shoulder from lifting a heavy container overhead. As a result, his shoulder blade sticks out all the time. Will he always be like this?

I had a sudden onset of shoulder pain that sent me to the doctor's office in a hurry. I couldn't remember any kind of injury or recent illness. The bill I received describes the treatment as a "diagnostic injection." What does that mean exactly?

I'm a 48-year old woman and I had a mastectomy for breast cancer three months ago. Now that I'm back to swimming, I notice I'm having trouble with my stroke. My husband says when I reach forward to stroke the shoulder blade pops out noticeably. Could this be caused by the mastectomy?

My 18-year old son dislocated his shoulder in a bike accident over the weekend. The emergency room doctor put it back in. We were sent to an orthopedic surgeon for a follow-up appointment today. The doctor did a test that nearly dislocated the arm again. It was very painful for my son. Was this test really needed?

Three years ago I dislocated my left shoulder. They called it a Bankart lesion. Now I've dislocated the shoulder again with even more damage. This one's called a Hill-Sachs lesion. How is that different from the first dislocation?

I am a college-level volleyball player on a sports scholarship. I have a dislocating shoulder with a tear in the labrum. The doctors here want to do a special repair. It's called a Bankart repair with some kind of suture anchor. What I really need to know is: will I get the motion back I need to serve and spike the ball?

I'm a construction worker. I tore my right biceps muscle lifting a heavy cement block. Can the muscle heal by itself?

I'm going to have a rotator cuff tear repaired using a new kind of suture to hold it down. It's made of bone, has a sharp pointed end, and goes directly into the bone. I've been told I have thick bones. What if they can't get it to go in? Or what if it breaks when the surgeon is trying to put it in?

My son is going to have a rotator cuff tear repaired surgically. The doctor described a special anchor suture that will be used to hold the tendon in place until it heals. What kind of problems can come from using these anchors?

What is a bone button? My doctor is going to use something like this to repair my torn rotator cuff.

I've heard that if you're going to have a joint replacement it's best to go to a hospital or center where they do a lot of these operations. How many is enough to be safe?

I found it really pays to shop around before having surgery. I live in New York City. I priced the cost of a total shoulder replacement in and out of the city. The cost of the operation is much higher in the City compared to upstate New York. Any idea how they can get away with this?

I saw a report that joint replacements have better results when done by a surgeon with lots of experience with that operation. That makes sense. Is this the whole story or is there more to it?

I'm an avid golfer in my retirement years. After having some shoulder pain for months I saw my doctor. The problem I have is called subacromial impingement syndrome. I've never heard of it. Is it a rare condition?

Every time I raise my right arm up overhead, I feel and hear a sound like the bone is rubbing against something. There's no pain when I do it. What could be causing this?

I've been diagnosed with a shoulder impingement problem. It comes and goes, but seems to be staying longer when it comes. I've tried all the usual treatments such as drugs, acupuncture, exercise, and rest. What else is there?

I'm going to have surgery for a shoulder impingement problem. How long will it be before I can return to work as a manual laborer?

I am a 53-year old business executive. As part of my job, I’ve been observing various divisions of our company. During the last rotation, I helped lift some heavy pipes. I felt a snap in my right shoulder with sudden pain. I don’t want to file for worker’s comp. What should I do?

I have been doing push-ups as part of my regular exercise routine. Does it really matter whether my elbows are out or in?

My shoulder kept dislocating after an injury. I had arthroscopic surgery to tighten up the joint. The doctor used laser therapy. It’s only been three months and my shoulder is dislocating again. Should I have the laser treatment again?

Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night and my arm is cold and stiff. My hand is blue and it looks like I’ve lost the blood supply to my hand. What causes this?

I heard there's a new laser heat treatment for loose shoulders. Will this work for arthritis?

I had a steroid injection into my shoulder for a problem with bursitis. I got immediate relief that lasted about a week. Now my symptoms are starting to come back. How long do steroid injections usually work?

The doctor and physical therapist told me I have a frozen shoulder with a capsular pattern. I understand the frozen shoulder part but what does 'capsular pattern' mean?

I saw two orthopedic surgeons and one physical therapist about a shoulder problem I'm having. All three gave me different explanations for the problem. None of them was the same problem. What's going on here?

What's the belly-press sign? I've read two medical reports on my daughter's shoulder injury and both say this is negative. What does it mean?

My 18-year old son tore his rotator cuff in a wrestling match. How can this happen with athletes who are in such good shape? I thought their bulked up muscles would be protected.

My 17-year old son was in a car accident and hurt his neck. When they took X-rays the report stated there were "significant calcifications in the subscapularis tendon." What could cause this in a teenager?

What is the peel-back mechanism? I've heard it used to describe an injury of the shoulder.

What's a SLAP shoulder injury? Is that a new term for rotator cuff tear?

I just found out I have a Type II SLAP injury of my pitching shoulder. I don't want to miss the rest of the baseball season. Can I put off surgery until then?

My 62-year old sister was just diagnosed with Friedrich's disease. Can you tell me something about this disease?

My wife has been having quite a bit of pain where her collarbone connects to the breastbone. The doctor wants to do X-rays, a CT scan, and an MRI. Are all these tests really necessary?

Of all things, I've come down with arthritis of the collarbone (where it attaches to the chest). I've never heard of this before. Most of my friends have arthritis of the shoulders, hips, or hands. Am I a rare case?

I'm going to have arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. I really need full motion to do my job. How long will it take to get it back?

My son tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder. The doctor called this a “medium” tear. What does this mean?

I had a torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder. After surgery to repair this, I ended up with a condition called fibrous ankylosis and even less motion than before the operation. What causes this?

Years ago, I tore my rotator cuff while lifting and carrying children in a daycare. I couldn’t take time off from work for physical therapy or surgery then. Now, I have chronic pain that’s worse at night. Is it too late for treatment?

I'm planning to have a shoulder joint replacement for an old rotator cuff tear that never healed. The doctor told me the average hospital stay is 2 days. Why is that? I thought most surgeries are done on an outpatient basis.

I'm going to have shoulder surgery next week. The operation is supposed to repair a torn labrum and tighten up the joint capsule with a special heat treatment. When can I expect to get back to regular work and sports activities?

I have a chronic dislocating shoulder that needs fixing. The doctor told me there's still a 25 percent chance the joint can dislocate again even after repair. Why is that?

I had a chronically dislocating shoulder that was operated on two years ago. Since then I've been symptom-free and no problems. Is it safe to assume it won't dislocate again if it hasn't by now?

I'm trying to decide about anesthesia for my shoulder surgery next month. The doctor has offered me a local nerve block. She can also do a general anesthesia to put me to sleep. I know there are some possible problems with each one. How do I decide?

I'm going to have shoulder surgery next week. The doctor has given me the choice of a general anesthesia or a regional block. I understand I'll be awake for the regional block. What happens if I move during the operation when I'm not supposed to?

I had a minor operation to repair some damage to my shoulder. They didn't even put me to sleep. I had a nerve block so I was awake for the surgery. My shoulder is better but now I have numbness and tingling in my ring and baby fingers. What could be causing this new problem?

Three months after an operation to repair a rotator cuff tear I find I have a frozen shoulder on that side. Am I just lucky or what? What could cause this to happen?

I just read the doctor's report on my shoulder surgery. It says I had a "massive" rotator cuff tear. It didn't seem that bad to me. What does "massive" mean?

My doctor wants me to have a special shoulder test. It's called a simple shoulder test. Can you tell me how it's done?

What is the Bernoulli effect? The doctor's report on my shoulder surgery says "pressure was used to minimize the Bernoulli effect." I've never heard of such a thing. What does this mean?

Whoa! I had arthroscopic surgery on my shoulder yesterday. Home today. I jumped on the bathroom scale and I've gained 10 pounds. I wasn't even in the hospital overnight. Is this from the operation? What's going on?

My father-in-law had surgery on his shoulder to repair a torn rotator cuff. Afterwards he had a lot of swelling on the back of his neck down into the back of his shoulder. What could cause this problem?

Is it possible to have a normal tendon show up as torn on an ultrasound study? I just had an MRI and an ultrasound. The MRI was normal but the US showed a tear in my rotator cuff. Which test should I believe?

I had an MRI, an X-ray, and an ultrasound of my shoulder. The doctor found two torn rotator cuff tendons. One was a partial-thickness tear and the other was full-thickness. what does this means exactly?

When I was pregnant I had an ultrasound of the baby and could see everything clearly. Yesterday I had an ultrasound of my shoulder for a torn rotator cuff tendon but I couldn't tell a thing. What can the doctor see with this test?

The doctor thinks I have shoulder impingement from an old shoulder injury. How can I find out for sure that's what's causing my pain? Shouldn't I at least have an MRI or something?

I've been getting treatment for a shoulder impingement problem but nothing's working. I've tried exercises, massage, stretching, ultrasound, and even acupuncture. I've been told subacromial decompression is the next step. Isn't there anything else I can try?

When I had a bike accident in Sweden the physical therapist there did acupuncture on my shoulder. I've never seen a PT do that in the states. Is it legal?

I saw a report on shoulder repairs comparing two different ways of doing the operation. One way was more successful than the other. How do they know the success wasn't due to something else like the patient's cooperation or the rehab program afterwards? When I had shoulder surgery I noticed a lot of difference from patient to patient but I thought it was because some did their exercises and some didn't.

I can't seem to get a straight answer from my doctor about my shoulder surgery. I have a shoulder that dislocates at least once a month. I know I need surgery but I can't decide whether to go with the open incision method or the arthroscopic approach. My doc says they are equally good for different reasons.

My orthopedic surgeon told me he is going to repair my shoulder "the old fashioned way" with an open incision. Should I look around for someone who will do it some other (more updated) way?

I am a 17-year old All Star baseball pitcher. I've had trouble with my pitching arm dislocating because of an injury. I've been doing exercises for the shoulder and upper arms. What else can I do to keep this arm stable?

The doctor told me that my shoulder is "unstable" after a pitching injury. What makes a joint "stable?"

My 18-year old daughter injured her shoulder while roller blading and was diagnosed with a "Bankart lesion" of her right arm. What is a Bankart lesion?

I've had chronic shoulder pain from wear and tear of the rotator cuff. I really want to avoid surgery. I've tried rest, antiinflammatory drugs, and exercise with only mild improvement. Is there anything else out there that could help?

My doctor has me trying nitroglycerin patches for a chronic shoulder tendon problem I'm having. The only problem is I get throbbing headaches. I don't want to stop the treatment. What can I do about the headaches?

I was half asleep one morning when I put my nitroglycerin patch on my shoulder instead of my chest. I didn't have any chest pain but even better than that my shoulder pain went away. How is that possible?

Can all rotator cuff tears be repaired surgically?

Recently, I had arthroscopic surgery to repair my rotator cuff. The doctor told me it was a “massive” tear. What does this mean?

I tore my rotator cuff playing tennis. During an overhead serve, I felt a painful pop. Afterwards, I couldn’t lift my arm. The doctor told me I tore the biceps tendon and the subscapularis tendon. How could my doctor tell exactly which muscles were torn?

I injured my spinal cord in a car accident 10 years ago. I use my arms to propel a wheelchair. This is causing some shoulder pain and early arthritis. If it gets bad enough, can I have joint replacements?

As a child, I had an infection in my shoulder that has since become arthritic. Now I need a shoulder joint replacement. Is this a common problem?

I've been told that I have a torn rotator cuff that's too damaged to repair. Is this possible?

I have arthritis in my left shoulder. It hurts constantly, but I can use it for most things. How can you tell when it’s time for a shoulder replacement?

Last month, I had a shoulder joint replacement. I’ve been given specific movements and exercises to do and warned about the possibility of shoulder dislocation. If something is going to go wrong, is it always in the first few weeks?

Two years ago, I had a total shoulder replacement. Now, I have painful clicking and popping in that shoulder. The doctor thinks I have a failed replacement. What could have caused this to happen?

I heard an advertisement for sleepwear that will prevent the "impingement position." What is this?

I injured my right shoulder playing baseball last year. It gradually got better, but now I notice my right shoulder is higher than my left. What could be causing this?

I've heard you can have shock therapy for calcium deposits in the shoulder. How does this work?

What is calcific tendinitis? My mother had an X-ray and this is what they found that's causing her shoulder pain.

Six months ago I had a rotator cuff repair. I don't really see much difference from before to after. When should I expect to get better?

I have a large rotator cuff tear in my left shoulder. I've been putting off surgery and trying everything else first. I'm ready to throw the towel in and have the surgery. How do you know when it's too late for an operation to help?

I have severe pain and limited motion in my left shoulder. My problems all come from arthritis. My doctor thinks I should have a partial shoulder replacement. If the arthritis gets worse I can always have a total replacement later. Does it really work that way?

I've had three steroid injections in my shoulder for a torn rotator cuff. I don't really want to have surgery. The injections work for a couple months. How many total injections can I have?

I had a partial shoulder replacement six months ago and I'm not happy with the results. My shoulder is stiff, sore, and painful all the time. It's worse than before the operation. I'm ready to just go for a total shoulder replacement. What do you advise?

I injured my rotator cuff last summer playing on a community baseball team. I have seen three surgeons and gotten three different answers about how to treat the problem. How's a patient supposed to decide what to do?

After a couple months messing with a rotator cuff tear I've decided to have it fixed with an operation. I'm 69 years old. Is my age against me?

My doctor has suggested we try a special shock wave therapy for the build-up of calcium in my shoulder. Are there any side effects from this treatment?

I understand there are several ways to repair a torn rotator cuff. I couldn't get my orthopedist to give me his opinion about which one is best. What can you tell me?

Every year I see my doctor she wants to X-ray my shoulder replacement. I don't really want so many X-rays. Are they really necessary?

I've been told that an MRA would be better than an MRI to evaluate my shoulder for rotator cuff tear. It's also more expensive. Is it really worth the added cost?

I'm going to be seeing the doctor for a shoulder exam. I'm pretty sure I have a torn rotator cuff. Should I ask for an MRI?

I went to a university orthopedic clinic for a shoulder exam. They found a rotator cuff tear. Now they want to inject a dye into the joint and take some pictures. Can't I just have a regular MRI and find out what they need without the injection?

I saw a physical therapist for an exercise program to help with my shoulder. She asked if I could lift a gallon of milk overhead. Heavens, I'm 72-years old. I stopped buying milk by the gallon years ago. Don't they teach therapists how to work with older adults these days?

I'm a little bothered by my recent doctor's appointment. I saw an orthopedic doctor for a shoulder problem I'm having. I'm 66-years old and very active. The doctor asked me lots of questions but never asked about sports activities. Should I try to find someone who is a sports medicine surgeon?

Six months ago I had a rotator cuff repair. My doctor says it was a "success" because I'm pain free now and sleeping at night. Even though I'm 77 years old, my idea of success is playing racquetball again. Who's right?

I'm in the early weeks of recovery from surgery for a rotator cuff tear. Just how much activity can the repair take? I'd like to know what are the limits.

Last year I had a rotator cuff tear repaired surgically. I was given exact directions on how much, what, and when to move my arm. I always wondered what would happen if I had moved the arm or lifted more weight sooner. Does it really matter?

I'm just reading over the operative report for my rotator cuff surgery from two months ago. I pretty much understand everything except the term "footprint." The report says, "The supraspinatus tendon and muscle were lifted up to measure the supraspinatus footprint." What does this mean?

Two months ago I had a ruptured biceps tendon repaired in my shoulder. The surgeon says my activities will be restricted for at least another month. I thought it takes about six to eight weeks for healing to take place. What's taking so long?

I'm in a sling after shoulder surgery for the next six weeks. I'd really like to just try out my new arm. Is it such a bad thing to move it around?

My twin daughters were both involved in a snowmobile accident. They both injured their shoulder. When I read the doctor's report it said there was a "positive crank test" for one girl and a negative "load and shift test" for both. Can you tell me what this means?

My 23-year old son dislocated his shoulder playing intramural soccer. He says it's "okay" and he's back to playing on his team. What keeps it from dislocating again?

I've just been diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear but I'm not an athlete and I can't remember any injury or trauma. How is this possible?

I've had shoulder pain off and on for the last three years. I finally went to the doctor to find out what is going on and couldn't get a straight answer. After lots of poking and prodding, now I'm going for X-rays and maybe an MRI. Why is it so hard to get a proper diagnosis?

I tore the rotator cuff in my left shoulder years ago. Now I'm having problems with my right shoulder. It doesn't seem quite like the rotator cuff problem I had before. This seems stiffer and less painful. How can I tell the difference between old age and a rotator cuff tear?

When I watch my son wind up and throw the ball when he's pitching, I can't help but wonder how that extreme motion is going to affect his shoulder joint years from now. Are there any studies to show what happens inside the joint?

I'm a semi-professional pitcher for a farm league with hopes of making it to the next level. I've been reading about shoulder problems in pitchers. I'd like to do everything I can to avoid any. What do you suggest?

I had a routine six-months follow-up on some shoulder surgery I had done. One of the tacks used to hold the torn tendon in place appears to be in the wrong position. I'm not having any problems. Should I have another operation to repair the repair?

I had a shoulder repair with sutures that are supposed to be absorbed by the body. Unfortunately my body reacted to them and I got synovitis. Is this very common?

I had surgery to repair some torn cartilage in my shoulder. Now two months later I'm having pain and a catching sensation when I move my arm. What can cause this to happen?

I'm on a lacrosse team for my high school. I woke up last week with shoulder pain and clicking when I move it. It's the worst when I reach overhead with my stick to catch or serve the ball. How can I tell if it's a serious injury?

I'm a West Point cadet in training. We're required to be in at least one sport so I play soccer. After making a really good dive for a goal, I injured my shoulder and had surgery to repair a labral tear. I wanted to get back into training as soon as possible so I cut short wearing the sling and started PT two weeks early. The whole thing fell apart. Now I have to have a second operation. What happened? Isn't an aggressive approach a good thing in rehab?

What's a bioabsorbable tack? The orthopedic surgeon who did my rotator cuff and cartilage tear repair says this is what was used to hold it together.

I took my son into the orthopedic surgeon for shoulder pain. I am reading the doctor's report, which says there is a positive "empty can test". What is this and what does it mean?

I've been having some shoulder pain that the doctor thinks is a rotator cuff tear. After all kinds of tests in the office, I'm being sent for an MRI. Is this really necessary after all that testing? Isn't there one test that works best?

My doctor says I have tendonitis of the rotator cuff. I'm going to physical therapy for some treatment. How can they tell it's tendonitis without an X-ray?

I'm a professional rodeo rider and had a bad calf roping accident. My right shoulder was dislocated severely and the muscles around the joint ruptured. After three surgeries already I'm going to have it fused. How do they do this operation? What can I expect during recovery?

My husband was in a bad motorcycle wreck and nearly destroyed his left shoulder. After four or five surgeries the doctors have decided to fuse the shoulder joint. What kind of problems could he run into with a shoulder fusion?

Two years ago I tore my rotator cuff in a car accident. Surgery to repair it worked great. Six months ago I injured that shoulder again. The first repair ruptured and I had a second tendon torn on top of it. Two more surgeries have been unsuccessful. Is it possible to get a tendon transplant? Seems like they can replace just about everything else in the body.

I'm a certified hang gliding instructor with 20 years of experience. Even so I hit an updraft and crashed tearing three of the tendons in my shoulder. I've had two surgeries to try and repair this massive tear. They didn't work. Are there any other options left to me?

I went with my father to the orthopedic surgeon to see about getting him a shoulder replacement. The doctor talked about a partial replacement. What's the advantage of that over a total replacement?

I have been in a wheelchair for the last 20 years from a car accident. My lower body is paralyzed but I can use my arms to push my chair. As I get older, I'm starting to have some arthritis in my left shoulder. The pain makes it very hard to push my chair straight. Would a shoulder replacement work for me?

I've always been active in sports. I've injured myself now and then but I always bounced back. Last year I dislocated my shoulder for the first time. This year I dislocated it again and tore the rotator cuff. Why is this happening all of a sudden? I've never had a broken bone or torn muscle in my life.

I dislocated my shoulder playing a neighborhood pick up game of volleyball. I never knew it was coming. One minute I spiked the ball over the net and the next I was on the ground in pain. How is that possible?

I'm a construction worker doing mostly cement work. A large bag of cement fell and caught me when my arm was lifted up and out to the side. I heard and felt a pop but thought I just strained the muscle. I found out later I partially ruptured my pectoralis muscle. What is a partial rupture?

I'm an amateur body builder but I do compete in some state and regional contests. Six months ago I bench pressed too much weight and ruptured my left pec. I had surgery to repair it but it still doesn't look normal. Will I get my full muscle bulk back for competition?

My 14-year old son can pop his shoulder joints on both sides in and out. He says it doesn't hurt and it won't hurt him to do this. Should we discourage him from doing this maneuver? What should we tell him?

What's a reverse Bankart injury? I've had surgery to repair a Bankart lesion. I've never heard of a reverse one. I saw a report in our local newspaper that a favorite athlete of mine has this condition.

Thirty years ago I had a special operation called the Bristow for a shoulder dislocation. It seems to have held up pretty good but now I'm getting some arthritis. Is that from the surgery or the dislocation?

Our daughter is a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy. During a boxing match, she dislocated her left shoulder. She is left-handed. She had surgery and now we are all waiting to see if she can stay in the Academy. Is there any way to predict the results of something like this? How often do people really get back to "normal" after this kind of injury?

Our 16-year old daughter dislocated her shoulder playing soccer. We've been told she should have surgery by one surgeon and by another to try rehab first. What's the current thinking on this?

I dislocated my right shoulder playing tennis in a league for over-40 adults. It's been six months since I had an arthroscopic repair. I'd really like to get back on the court but I can't lift and rotate my arm back far enough for a decent serve. Will this motion come back or am I stuck for good?

Our 14 year old son dislocated his right shoulder after falling off his mountain bike. He had to have anesthesia to put the joint back in place. Can't they do this without surgery like you see on TV shows like ER or Scrubs?

I dislocated both my shoulders in a motorcycle accident. I was surprised the emergency room doctor popped them both back in and that was it. Should I do anything to rehab?

I dislocated my shoulder lifting some cinder blocks that were too heavy for me. The emergency room doctor put the arm back in the socket. I was fine for about six months. Then I dislocated it again. When I went to the orthopedic surgeon, he put me face up on a table. I could hardly stand it when he moved my arm out to the side. The elbow was bent and my palm was facing the ceiling. When he put pressure down through the shoulder itself, it felt much better. What does this test show?

I went to see the doctor about a problem with my shoulder. I couldn't really relax enough to get a good test because of the pain. How can they tell what's really wrong?

I've heard there's a heat treatment to shrink loose joints. My 13-year old daughter has very loose joints. Sometimes it's a problem when she's trying to do something in gymnastics that requires strength and stability. Could this treatment help her?

My doctor has recommended a laser heat treatment for my unstable shoulder. It's supposed to tighten everything up and keep the joint from dislocating again. Will I have to wear a sling after the operation?

My husband fell from the hayloft of our barn while loading hay. The doctor says he fractured both his collarbone and his shoulder blade. It's almost harvest time. How long can we expect he'll be laid up?

My sister was thrown from a horse and then dragged by the arm before getting loose. She insists she's fine but she does have pain and the arm looks droopy to me. What's the best advice I can give her about what to do?

Somehow (no one knows how or why) I got a frozen shoulder last year. It's finally starting to get better -- at least I think it's better. Is there some way to keep track of my improvement really?

My mother hurt her shoulder in a bad fall at the nursing home. The therapist used three tests to measure Mom's function. She had to touch her neck, slide her hand up her back toward the shoulder blade, and reach across the front to her opposite shoulder. How accurate are these tests when someone has dementia?

Years ago I had a rotator cuff tear of my right shoulder. I opted not to treat it with surgery. I got by with doing an exercise program for many years. Recently, I quit doing my exercises and got a bad infection in the shoulder. Is there any connection between the two?

I had a severe rotator cuff tear that was repaired but didn't hold. The surgeon doesn't think another rotator cuff surgery is a good idea for me. Is there anything else that can be done? I'm starting to get arthritis in the joint and it seems to be progressing quickly.

My surgeon is suggesting I consider a reverse shoulder replacement. She has explained what it looks like and how it works. When I went on-line to check it out, I saw something about a high failure rate. What can you tell me?

What causes a shoulder joint replacement to get infected? My sister had this surgery two months ago and it's been nothing but trouble due to an infection.

I had to have a total shoulder replacement because of a bad shoulder fracture. I'm pain-free but now I can't raise my arm past eye-level. Can anything be done about this?

What is a positive Hornblower's sign? My husband came back from the doctor's saying this is what is wrong with his shoulder.

My 72-year old mother has been told her torn rotator cuff cannot be repaired. She seems in good health and she's fairly active for her age. Why can't this be fixed?

From what I've been told by my doctor, I'm pretty sure I have a rotator cuff tear of the subscapularis muscle. The surgeon wants to do an arthroscopic exam. If the scope is positive, then I'll have surgery to repair the problem. Wouldn't it be better to just open up the joint and see what's what?

I saw an orthopedic surgeon about six months ago for a shoulder problem. None of the tests done were positive. I went home with an antiinflammatory and exercise program. The problem never got any better. Finally I had an arthroscopic exam, which showed a torn subscapularis muscle. Why couldn't they find this out six months ago?

I hurt my right shoulder in a skiing accident. I've had an X-ray and an MRI without finding anything. The doctor thinks I tore the rim around the shoulder socket and wants to do one more test called an arthrography. What's this test going to do that the other tests couldn't?

I'd like to know what's the fastest recovery time possible for shoulder surgery? I'm having a labral tear repaired and I want to get back to sports absolutely as fast as possible.

I'm planning on doing some mountain backpacking this summer. Everyone says I should get a good backpack with lots of straps. What should I really look for?

What is the stinger-burner syndrome?

I just came back from my doctor's office. After examining my shoulder, she said that I have boomeritis. I've heard of bursitis, but what's boomeritis?

My surgeon showed me an MRI of my shoulder where the rotator cuff is torn. I couldn't really tell what I was looking at. What are they seeing?

After two months of shoulder pain, I finally went to see the doctor. An X-ray showed calcific tendinitis. I'm seeing a physical therapist now and it's helping. Will this problem go away for good? Or should I expect another attack at any time?

I like to play tennis in adult leagues year-round. Lately it feels like my shoulder is too loose. I need full motion to get a good serve but sometimes it feels like it could just pop right out of the socket. Is there anything I can do about this?

Last year I fell and broke my shoulder. I ended up with a frozen shoulder. After surgery and six months of therapy, I'm much better. I notice whenever I see the surgeon or physical therapist they are always trying to pull the shoulder out of the socket. What does this tell them?

What's the difference between adhesive capsulitis and a frozen shoulder? I've been told by two different doctors that's what's wrong with my arm.

I've been seeing a physical therapist for a shoulder problem I've had for awhile. It seems like the problem is coming from the shoulder joint but he keeps giving me exercises for my shoulder blade. Should I say something?

What is upper limb pain disorder and what causes it?

I'm training for an iron man competition. When I started increasing the weight training part of my program, I noticed my elbow started snapping when I do pushups. What could be causing this problem?

Next week I'm going to have arthroscopic surgery for a frozen shoulder. The surgeon has explained everything to me. Just the front part of my shoulder capsule will be cut. I'm wondering if they don't release the back part, too will I still get my full motion back?

I'm reading the pathology report of tissue taken from my frozen shoulder. I'd like to understand what really caused my problem. Can you tell me what collagen fibers are? There's a lot of mention of several types of collagen.

I have an adult son with Down Syndrome who is participating in Special Olympics. His event is the shot-put. Last week at practice he started having painful popping of the shoulder blade when he moved his arm to throw the shot-put. Now he can't lift his arm all the way overhead. What could be causing this?

I'm a 44-year old male and recently diagnosed with brachial neuritis. The doctor doesn't know what caused it but thinks I was overtraining for an iron man competition. Will I recover enough to still compete? The event is about a month away.

Mother fell and hurt her arm last night. My husband just took her to the emergency room for X-rays. She is in a lot of pain and can't get out of her wheelchair very easily. How in the world can they get an X-ray in a case like this?

My elderly neighbor fell and dislocated her shoulder. But it took two different doctors to figure out what the problem was. The first X-ray was normal but she still had extreme pain and couldn't move her arm. I took her to my own doctor who diagnosed a posterior dislocation. Why didn't it show up on the first X-ray?

After my rotator cuff repair, the surgeon showed me on the X-ray how much bone had to be removed. I wasn't really understanding why the bone was taken out. I thought it was just the muscle that was torn. Can you explain this?

I had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder. Two months later, it tore again. I wasn't expecting that to happen at all. Was there any way to predict that was going to happen?

What is a rotator cuff arthropathy? I know I've had a large rotator cuff tear for years. Now the doctor is saying I have rotator cuff tear arthropathy.

My sister and I both have rotator cuff tears. I've had mine for about 10 years but I'm still getting along fine. She's only had hers for two years but they're talking about doing a shoulder replacement. They say she's had progressive joint damage from the tear. Why did this happen to her but not me? Will I eventually have the same problem?

Is there any way to avoid surgery for a shoulder impingement problem?

Our daughter had surgery to help with an AC separation that never did heal. The surgeon cut off the end of the collar bone. Was that really necessary? Won't she need that bone?

I injured my shoulder playing soccer. It's an AC shoulder separation. I'm also on my high school tennis team. If I have surgery to repair the problem, will I be able to get back on the court in time for tennis season?

My doctor thinks I may have a condition called thoracic outlet syndrome. Is it possible to find out for sure? Would an X-ray or MRI show anything?

My 33-year old daughter just emailed me that she has thoracic outlet syndrome. She may have to give up her wallpaper business. Is there any way to cure this problem?

Should we go ahead and have our son operated on to repair a torn rotator cuff and dislocated shoulder? The doctor was able to put the shoulder back in place fairly easily. But we were warned that it could be unstable and dislocate again.

My 78-year old aunt dislocated her shoulder last week. She's wearing a sling and wondering how to decide if she should have surgery. How can we know what's best for her? Is putting surgery off likely to make things worse in the end?

I had a bad fall last year and ended up having surgery to repair the rotator cuff. The muscle that was damaged the most was the subscapularis. The top of my shoulder doesn't hurt anymore. But I notice it's really sore along the front of my arm, especially if I try to do bicep curls at the gym. Can anything be done about this, or is it just part of the package?

I'm 54-years old and still like to get out on the ice and play broom ball or a little pick up game of ice hockey. Last season, I fell onto my elbow and felt a squishy sensation in my shoulder. Now I can hardly lift my arm up and hold it there without pain and weakness. What should I do?

I've been having shoulder bursitis off and on for years. My doctor suggested injecting it but I'm a little nervous. Is there any reason not to do this?

What is bursitis? I've heard of it and wonder if that's what's causing my shoulder pain.

What causes a frozen shoulder?

My father fell and landed right on his shoulder. Even though it was fractured, the doctor wanted him to see a physical therapist first before doing surgery. Well, it's been almost three months and he's still in rehab. Should it be taking this long for him to recover?

Mother fractured her shoulder and needed surgery. We thought with the new arthroscopic operations, she would just be in and out in a day. Instead, they did an open incision and it took much longer for her to recover. How is this decided anyway?

I'm going to have surgery next week to repair a torn labrum in my right shoulder. The surgeon said I'll be lying on my left side with my right arm in a traction device. I'm a little worried about having them pull on my arm like that. Is it really necessary? What if it causes my shoulder to dislocate?

Our daughter tore the cartilage in her shoulder playing volleyball. We watched a short video that showed us how the surgeon is going to repair the problem. I didn't really understand what the portals are that they talked about. It seems like these are important, but I didn't really get it.

I'm so frustrated because my rotator cuff repair didn't hold. I don't know if I should bother having the surgery done again or not. What do you advise?

I've been told that an open repair of my torn rotator cuff may give the best long-term results. But I like the idea of a smaller incision with the less invasive operations. Is the open method really so superior that I should take the cut?

I had a car accident that left me in a coma for two months. I recovered fully but my shoulder was broken but not repaired until four months after the accident. Now I need a shoulder replacement because of avascular necrosis. Would this have been prevented if the surgery had been done sooner?

From a simple fall, I ended up with a broken arm and a torn rotator cuff. The surgeon is talking about me needing a joint replacement. Can't this just be repaired? Must I really lose a perfectly good joint? I don't have arthritis or anything like that.

I'd like to get some advice about a shoulder dislocation. Our daughter plays hockey and dislocated her left shoulder. The MRI shows a tear in the cartilage, too. The coach says just rehab it and get her back in the game as soon as possible. The surgeon says to repair it now before more damage occurs. Which way should we go?

We've just come back from the emergency room where our son had his dislocated shoulder put back in the socket. The ER staff told us just to watch him for a few weeks to make sure it doesn't dislocate again. What would cause it to dislocate a second time?

I had my shoulder joint resurfaced in an effort to avoid a total shoulder replacement. It didn't work and I ended up with a second surgery. But it turns out the first implant wasn't even loose. What could have been causing all my painful symptoms?

I'm thinking about having joint resurfacing done to my pitching arm. The doc says my activities may have to be curtailed. What can and can't I do after this surgery?

My father is going to have his shoulder replaced. I know someone else who had it and had nothing but trouble. How successful are shoulder replacements?

I heard of someone having their shoulder fused - but why would someone do that? Why not replace the shoulder?

Sometimes I see people wearing a sling on their arm with a big bolster under the arm. What's this for anyway?

Our son had a rotator cuff and labral tear of the left shoulder. I heard the surgeon say they used two suture anchors to repair the tears. That doesn't seem like much. Will it really hold?

My orthopedic doctor thinks I've torn the labrum in my left shoulder. I don't really want to have expensive tests done to find out for sure. Aren't there some simple tests that can diagnose this problem?

What is a type II SLAP shoulder injury? That's what my daughter says the arthroscopic exam showed this is the cause of the clicking in her shoulder.

I had a steroid injection into my shoulder last week. My pain got much worse and I broke out in a skin rash. I'm not going to do that again. What went wrong?

My orthopedic doctor gave me two steroid injections in my shoulder. The next step is to see a physical therapist. What will this do for me?

Can you offer any suggestions? Our daughter is a very athletic cheerleader. She participates in competitions all over the place. She's complaining of shoulder pain along the back of her shoulder. It hurts to move her arm overhead. It hurts when she presses on that spot. Yet no one can find anything wrong. Even the arthroscopic exam was negative. What do we do now?

What is the quadrilateral space syndrome (QSS)? My older brother is a javelin thrower in track and field events. Now he can't compete because of this QSS problem.

I've been to three orthopedic surgeons now about a problem with my pitching arm. It hurts, clicks, and feels like it's going to pop out of the socket. No one could figure it out. I finally had an arthroscopic exam that showed a posterior tear of the shoulder capsule. Why was this so hard to diagnose?

I need to have surgery on my shoulder because it clicks and hurts whenever I raise my arms over my head. Since I work as a hair dresser, I use this motion all day long. The surgeon I saw wants to put two puncture holes in my shoulder to repair this problem. Should I go through with it? Will the holes cause problems later?

My mother-in-law is having her shoulder replaced next week. In going through all the paperwork ahead of time, we saw a warning that fractures of the upper arm bone can occur as a complication of the procedure. And it says that healing of a fracture can be very slow in someone with an implant. How often does this really happen, and what causes the delays?

We are really bummed as a family. We all encouraged Mom to have a shoulder replacement and then her upper arm broke during the surgery. Is this a fluke? Could it have been prevented?

Our college-aged son dislocated his shoulder playing basketball. We are trying to figure out if he needs surgery or not. The staff at the local clinic say he can wear a sling for eight weeks and come out alright in the end. Is this sound advice?

Last week, I slipped and fell down two stairs. I ended up with a dislocated shoulder. Now I'm in a sling that holds the arm against my body. But I'm worried that my arm will get stuck if I don't move it. If I'm very careful, could I put the arm down by my side?

At age 83, am I too old for a rotator cuff repair? I'm not a senior athlete but I'd sure like to do more with this bum shoulder.

I had a rotator cuff repair that went south in the first six weeks. What causes a repair like this to tear again?

My 21-year-old son hurt his arm during a ski jump last winter. At first the surgeon thought he had a labral tear. But now his arm is frozen with no movement past 90 degrees. Does this makes sense? How can you have a torn cartilage and a frozen joint?

I somehow managed to get a frozen shoulder. No one seems to know what caused it. My doctor has suggested a wait-and-see approach. She says these things tend to take care of themselves, and that it will probably go away on its own. Isn't there something I could or should be doing to get better?

I'm a semi-pro golfer with a bad shoulder from chronic dislocations. The surgeon has offered to do a stabilization procedure with either an open incision or arthroscopically. Is there much difference between these two operations?

I'm going to have an arthroscopic surgical procedure for a problem with a chronic left shoulder dislocation. I'd like to get back on the tennis court in time for the adult summer league. What kind of rehab program should I expect?

About five years ago, I dislocated my shoulder repeatedly. Eventually I had surgery to clean out the joint and tighten it up. I'm starting to notice some crackling noise in that joint when I move my arm overhead. Does this mean something has come loose? Do I need to do something for this before it becomes a problem?

What's the difference between shoulder replacement and resurfacing?

Whenever I reach my hand above my head, I hear (or feel, I can't decide which) a popping sound. Then it hurts like a son-of-a-gun until I'm almost all the way up, then it feels much better again. What could be causing this strange pattern?

I went to see my doctor for a steroid injection in the shoulder. She put me through an extensive list of tests in her office. When she was done with me, she sent me to radiology for a couple of X-rays. Then I got the injection. Was all this testing really necessary? Or is it just a way to drive up the cost to me?

My brother is a professional baseball player. (To protect his privacy, I won't name the team). He hurt himself and had to have shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. Right now, he's in rehab. I'm curious to know if he might not make it back on the field.

My younger brother had an MRI of his shoulder to figure out what was wrong with his arm. They found a torn rotator cuff. But the surgeon said it was inoperable. Why can't they fix it?

Sometimes the consumer craze goes too far. I don't mind picking my own doctor, but I want him or her to tell me what to do -- not give me choices and let me decide. I'm talking about having surgery to repair a rotator cuff tear. Please just tell me if I should have an open operation or go with the newer mini-open method.

I've been getting ready to have shoulder surgery for a rotator cuff tear. I'm an avid (middle-aged) golfer. I've looked at arthroscopic surgery versus open surgery. I really want to get back on the golf course. Which one of these is better for golfers?

I'm really scared because I think I retore my rotator cuff again. The surgery was six months ago, and I thought it was pretty stable. But I was out on the baseball field and overextended when throwing the ball to first base from the outfield. How can I find out if I've damaged the repair?

Can you tell me how they do a shoulder manipulation? I know I'll be asleep for the operation but what happens exactly?

Our 22-year old son tore his rotator cuff in a skiing accident. He didn't have surgery right away and now he has a frozen shoulder. The surgeon is advising just doing surgery to manipulate the shoulder. Then he can have the rotator cuff repair later. Wouldn't it make more sense to just do it all at once?

I'm having the end of my collarbone shaved or cut off at the end of this week. I have a weight-lifter's competition next weekend. Will I be able to rehab and still compete in that amount of time?

What is weight-lifter's shoulder, and who gets it? I'm a weight-lifter and I'd like to avoid problems of this sort.

I've been a competitive (and now) recreational golfer all my life. Last month I had a shoulder replacement on my dominant arm. I've been carrying around a golf club for exercise and feel pretty good. How long before I'm back in full swing?

I am 67-years young and training for an ironman competition. Part of the race involves swimming. If I have a shoulder replacement this year, will I be able to participate again next year?

I injured my rotator cuff years ago. I probably tore it more than once as it was healing. My surgeon has suggested doing a procedure to repair the damage and restore some function in that arm. I'd be happy just to have less pain at night. I know they can do these operations now without even opening you up. Do you think I can have that kind of surgery?

I found out yesterday that my rotator cuff is completely ruptured. I'm doing some checking around on the Internet to find out what's the next step. I thought it might be helpful when I see the orthopedic surgeon if I at least knew what are my options.

I was robbed while standing at the ATM machine last night. The robber pulled my arm back, grabbed the money, and ran. The shoulder didn't dislocate but I felt something pop. Today I can hardly move it. It especially hurts if I try to reach into my back pocket for my comb or my wallet. What do you think got hurt?

I injured my rotator cuff about two years ago. At that time, I didn't have insurance to pay for the surgery. Now with a new job, I want to get this taken care of. But I'm wondering if I waited too long. Do the results depend on the timing of the surgery?

I have a buddy who wants me to try climbing walls at his gym. I'm really tempted but I had a rotator cuff injury several years ago. Is it safe for me to try this activity?

What's the best way to train for a sports climbing competition? Right now, I lift weights and just practice my climbing speed. But maybe I should be doing something more specific.

Why is it when you hurt your shoulder, the doctor doesn't want to do surgery right away and wants you to wait. I hurt my shoulder in the spring and I'm doing exercises and stuff. It does feel better but it is still painful. My doctor said to wait another few months before going ahead with surgery.

When my husband hurt his shoulder playing football, his arm went blue and cold. His doctor said it was urgent that he have surgery to fix his shoulder. What happened that would cause his arm to change color like that?

My 83-year-old aunt broke her shoulder last summer. She went to a physical therapist for six months straight. She has had a marvelous recovery. But my aunt had to repeatedly ask her doctor for a referral and fight with the insurance company to cover the cost. Would more older people get better results after injuries like this if they could get this kind of treatment?

I've heard that just because I'm a Workers' Compensation claim, I can expect to have worse results from my rotator cuff shoulder surgery. Is this really true? And if so, why?

I hurt my shoulder on-the-job and had to have a rotator cuff repair. Now, six months later, I'm back on-the-job, but there's a lot of stiffness in that shoulder. It worries me. Is this to be expected?

I keep hearing about athletes who tear their rotator cuff. What is it and why do they tear it?

Why would they not do a shoulder replacement for someone with a bad rotator cuff injury?

I asked my surgeon about having a reverse shoulder replacement. He doesn't do this type of surgery and wants to refer me to someone else. He says he just hasn't taken the time to study and practice the technique. Is it really that difficult to do?

I've been looking on-line for surgical options to a bum shoulder. I have a badly damaged rotator cuff and now arthritis that isn't getting any better. I see the latest is a reverse shoulder replacement. That looks pretty cool. Would it work for me?

I was out skiing with my family when my ski tip hit a chunk of ice. Before I knew it, I was flying through the air. I landed on my head and on my shoulder. Fortunately, I was wearing a helmet. But it looks like I have a shoulder separation. The emergency room doctor said something about surgery as a possible treatment. How do I know if that's what I need?

I'm 32-years-old and very active. While out horse back riding with a friend, my horse fell and landed on me. I had a severe shoulder separation that was repaired surgically. I'm six months out from surgery. I've finished the rehab program, and I'm still in terrible pain. Could something else be wrong with the shoulder?

Both of my brothers had total shoulder replacements that loosened up and had to be revised. It looks like I'm headed in the same direction. Is there any proof that being a woman will give me a better result?

I'm looking at having a total shoulder replacement. I thought I'd do some homework before going to see the surgeon. I see there are cemented and cementless implants. And plastic versus metal-backed parts. What are the differences in these features?

Dad has an infection in his brand new shoulder joint implant. We're afraid he's going to lose that arm. How do they treat this problem?

My mother had a shoulder replacement that ended up a dismal failure. She fell and broke her arm, developed an infection, and that was the end of the new shoulder. Now they are talking about removing the implant and starting over. Can they really do this?

After months of exercises, hot baths, acupuncture, and even hypnosis, my frozen shoulder is still as stuck as ever. I think I've gained a total of 10 degrees of motion I didn't have when I started. I've even tried steroid injections (against my better judgment). I am truly stuck. Is there any help for someone like me?

My mother was recently diagnosed with a frozen shoulder for unknown reasons. She says she hasn't hurt herself or fallen down, but of course she wouldn't tell us if she did. She doesn't want therapy and says the doctor told her it would get better on its own. That doesn't sound right. What do you think?

I'm heading into surgery to repair a shoulder problem called a SLAP. I don't want to miss any of baseball season. Can you fill me in on what to expect after the surgery?

Our daughter is involved in volleyball at the collegiate level. Last week, she fell on her outstretched arm. The team physician thinks she has a SLAP tear that may require surgery. She's in a city and state far from us. We can't be there to walk through the process with her. How is this decision about surgery made?

Is it better to treat anterior shoulder dislocations in athletes right when it happens (on the field or court) or transport them to the hospital first?

Our 17 year-old-son is involved in weight lifting and wrestling. During one very challenging wrestling match, he dislocated his shoulder. I didn't think a shoulder dislocation would occur in somethat that young and strong. Is this unusual?

My sister had a rotator cuff repair last week. The surgeon sent her to a specific physical therapist in town, but I want her to go to my therapist. Can she switch without telling the doctor?

I had rotator cuff surgery four weeks ago. I've been faithfully wearing the abduction pillow under my arm. But my wife signed us up for an East Coast swing dance class. I can't really partner with her with this pillow strapped to my side. Since it's been four weeks, is it safe to take the sling off for that one-hour class each week?

I tore my rotator cuff not once but three times. It's not looking very good for surgery. The surgeon wants me to do six months of physical therapy. How is that going to help?

My father has a significant frozen shoulder. Despite one surgery already and months of rehab, he still can't lift his arm up nose high or hold it up for more than a second. The surgeon who saw him wants us to have another specialist take a look before they settle on a treatment plan. What can this second surgeon offer that the first one hasn't already told us?

After months of shoulder pain, our 17-year old son was finally diagnosed with something called scapular dyskinesia. We think this may keep him from having surgery as it looks like exercise and sports taping will do the trick. So, can you explain just exactly what is scapular dyskinesia? I know the scapula is the shoulder blade and that about the full extent of my understanding.

What's a dead arm syndrome? I heard them talking about this on ESPN Central but I don't really know what it is. Is it like a stinger only in a baseball player rather than a football player?

My wife just had rotator cuff surgery. I'm typing this to you on my laptop from her room where she will be for a day or two before going home. Her roommate had the same surgery and is in some kind of device that moves her arm up and down and back and forth. She has a different surgeon than we do. Should I ask our doctor about using something like this for my wife?

I'm going to have rotator cuff surgery in a few days. So, I'm surfing the web looking for any information I can find to guide me after surgery. Is there a set way to get maximum recovery as quickly as possible?

My sister has terrible shoulder pain. I can hear her arm popping and snapping as she moves it over her head. They told her she has calcium deposits in the tendons and that it will go away on its own. But it's been almost a year and she's still suffering. Should she go back and see her doctor?

My doctor wants me to try shock therapy for calcium deposits in my shoulder. I've heard of shock therapy for mental conditions and seizures but not for calcium deposits. How does it work?

I've been in a rehab program for six weeks now to recover shoulder function after my first shoulder dislocation. I have to have a stable shoulder before I can go back to work in a meat packaging plant. What qualifies as stable?

I'm a West Point cadet with a bum shoulder. I dislocated it while playing soccer with my fellow cadets. The surgeon here wants me to have surgery right away. My home doctor suggests waiting and completing a rehab program to see if a more conservative approach could stabilize the shoulder. My biggest concern is that I will have to pass my physical fitness test before the end of this year. Will I be able to do this better with surgery or without?

Our son hurt his arm showing off at school. The physician's assistant we took him to said it was a mild AC (shoulder) sprain. They gave him a sling and told him to wear it for a week to 10 days and then come back for follow-up. It's only been about five days and he's already stopped wearing it. He says it doesn't hurt and he can move it all around. With such a quick recovery, do we even need to go back?

I have a shoulder separation that is bad enough to maybe need surgery. But it's also possible it could heal without surgery. I'm kinda left in the dark trying to figure out what to do. What do you advise?

What's the difference between shoulder laxity and shoulder instability?

When I was 16 years old, I had a pretty bad football injury to my left shoulder. Now at 28, I have limited shoulder motion and constant pain. The surgeon I saw has suggested a procedure called shoulder resurfacing. What can you tell me about it?

I am 34-years old and a semi-professional golfer. I had an operation done for my right shoulder called a partial resuracing. I'm slowly getting back into shape. My biggest fear is that if I overdo it, the implant will break or get used up too fast. How can I get past this hurdle and back into full swing, so-to-speak?

I've heard that if I have a reverse total shoulder replacement, I won't need physical therapy. Is that true?

I can't figure out what's wrong with my arm. When I try to lift it up to comb my hair, I can only go so far and get stuck. It hurts like the dickens when I try to do that. But I can lie down on the bed holding on to my cane with both hands and the arm goes up all the way. Can you explain this to me?

I just found out my shoulder pain is caused by something getting pinched in there. We're not sure just what's getting pinched but the MRIs should help clear up the anatomy of the problem. What's the cause of this condition? You know -- what brings it on?

Have you ever heard of using laser to treat a shoulder impingement problem? How does it work?

I was very active in sports during my high school and college years. I never hurt myself and always felt proud of that fact. But now it turns out I have a rotator cuff tear in both shoulders and didn't even know it. Could these have been there all this time or is this a new development?

I'm 52-years-old and still have a few friendly games of tennis left in me. But I've got a bum shoulder with a torn rotator cuff and probably a torn bit of cartilage around the shoulder socket. I'm not super active, but I'm not a couch slouch either. Would surgery to repair the damage be helpful?

I know there are joint replacements for fingers, knees, and hips. What about shoulders? I'm only 55, but I think I'm headed in that direction and thought I'd find out what's the current state-of-the-art, so-to-speak.

Our daughter is a dynamite volleyball player. Unfortunately, she dislocated her dominant shoulder one time too many and has to have surgery. The surgeon is taking quite a bit of time to figure out what's wrong. We've been back for tests three times now. Does that seem reasonable?

It seems like this isn't my year. After dislocating my pitching arm a half dozen times, I went ahead and had surgery. Well, wouldn't you know it? It didn't work. I guess they call it a failed shoulder stabilization. Bummer. What do I do now? I'm not ready to throw the towel in yet.

I am a fairly new journalist now assigned to a small town newspaper sports column. My first assignment is to research shoulder dislocations in throwing athletes. Parents of our local little league players are worried about their kids ending up with one dislocation after another. I'm looking for some background information and maybe a new angle from what's already been reported. Can you help me out?

I'd like to be a little more educated about surgical treatment for a shoulder I have that keeps dislocating. When I see the orthopedic surgeon next week, what might I expect to have happen?

I found a few things on the Internet about something called snapping scapular syndrome. Most of what I found was on your site. What else can you tell me about this problem?

I confess I'm not much for exercise, so when I was diagnosed with snapping scapula syndrome, I skipped the surgeon's recommendation for physical therapy and just took the antiinflammatory pills. But six weeks later and I'm still not any better really. Maybe if I knew what was involved with therapy, I might be more motivated to go. What can you tell me?

I've just been diagnosed with calcifying tendinitis. What is it? How long will it last? Will it go away on its own?

I have some calcium deposits in the tendons of my shoulder. Nothing has worked to get rid of these. My doctor wants me to try shock therapy. I'm a little nervous to try something like this. How does it work and does it hurt?

When I hurt my shoulder a few months ago, the doctor made me move it around while she pressed on it. This ended up causing pain. It turns out that I had something called an impingement. Is it normal to do a test that causes pain?

My husband hurt his shoulder and it was finally diagnosed as a subacromial impingement. He had had x-rays and stuff done, but the doctor diagnosed him after he examined my husband and had him move his shoulder around. Why was this not seen on the x-rays?

I've had two cortisone injections to my shoulder. One time it worked, the next time it didn't. Should I try a third time? It seems like a 50-50 toss-up.

I had a steroid injection for shoulder tendinitis that seemed to help but I got some weird reactions from it. My skin turned red where the needle went in and the skin peeled away the next week. Is that typical?

My son dislocated his left shoulder a few years ago. Since then, he's dislocated it three times. He did have surgery after the second time, but a few months later, it happened again. Why can't the doctor fix it properly?

My surgeon has offered me an option for my shoulder surgery. I dislocated it a few months ago and it's not healing. He said I could have open surgery or arthroscopic. How do I know which one to choose?

I had a very painful shoulder, probably from too much weight lifting. I backed off on my weight program but the symptoms didn't go away. Eventually I went to see an orthopedic specialist. She says it's likely I have a torn labrum and maybe a cyst from fluid leaking out of the joint pressing on a nerve. We are waiting for the rest of the test results before finding out how to treat this problem. Can you give me some idea what to expect?

Tests and more tests! I can't believe how much I've spent on medical tests trying to figure out what's wrong with my shoulder. Now they think I have a trapped nerve (the suprascapular nerve). Next is an MRI. What will that show that they haven't already seen?

I'm going to the doctor next week for some injections into my shoulder. They are going to start with a steroid injection to cut the pain and follow that up the next few weeks with a lubricating injection. What can I expect after the treatments?

Several years ago, I had some injections into my knee to help lubricate it. The treatment worked and I've been able to put off a knee replacement ever since. Now my shoulder is acting up the same way. Can I get this same treatment for the shoulder?

I hope I never go through this again. I dislocated my dominant arm sliding into home plate. I just hit my hand and arm on the dirt in the wrong position with the right amount of force and it popped out. No one on the field could get it back in (though they tried)! The emergency room doctor couldn't either, so I ended up with surgery. Was it a mistake to let the EMTs on the field attempt to relocate it?

I am a first-year orthopedic resident working on a presentation to the staff on outpatient (closed) shoulder reduction. I've learned how to do three different techniques (the Hippocratic method, the Milch method, and the Kocher method). Are there any studies to suggest one of these is better than the other?

My sister says I'm torturing myself over nothing. So I need to get another opinion besides my own (and hers, of course). I have a torn rotator cuff that was repaired and now it's torn again -- exact same muscle and exact same spot as the first tear. Should I have surgery to fix it a second time? Could it possibly heal on its own?

I don't know why because I didn't do anything that I can remember, but I've retorn my previously repaired rotator cuff. I didn't even know it happened. I went for a follow-up visit and that's what the surgeon told me. How often does this happen? Why does it happen? And what can be done about it?

I think I'm losing sensation in my arm. When I raise my arms up overhead, I can feel my left arm moving in a nice smooth arc of motion. But when I close my eyes and try to make the right arm move to the same spot as the left arm, I'm way off. I know it sounds like I'm crazy to even be checking this sort of thing, but I had physical therapy for a shoulder problem last month and I don't think I'm normal yet. Should I go back?

Can you help me figure something out? I'm a college-level baseball pitcher with pretty good pitching stats. I'm very careful to keep a pitching diary and avoid over-training. I was going along just fine this semester and suddenly wham! I woke up with an intense, sharp pain deep inside the shoulder. What happened? There's been no specific injury that I know of. I'm nervous as heck about this.

I have a sad tale to tell about my shoulder. I tore the rotator cuff in a big way when I fell on the ice last winter. They said it was a massive tear but that it could be repaired. Well, I went ahead and had the surgery but it didn't work. Three months later and an MRI showed the tear had reopened and was getting bigger. I wasn't in any pain, but I was losing motion and the full use of that arm. To make a long story short, I had yet another surgery (my third operation on the same shoulder). Things have gone from bad to worse. The tear hasn't healed, the arm doesn't work, and I don't know what to do next.

I have a sit-down job but I'm off work for a second shoulder surgery. The first surgery was to repair a torn rotator cuff. The second surgery was to repair the repair because it didn't hold and I ended up with a retear. It's a worker's comp case so they are telling me I need a functional capacity test before I can go back. Is this really necessary for a desk job?

I've been coaching high school sports (football, basketball, baseball) for 25 years. I've never seen an athlete tear his rotator cuff until this year. One of our receivers got tackled in the end zone (made the touch down!) but he got hit in the shoulder from behind by three other guys. Took the medical staff quite a while to figure out what it was because they assumed his symptoms were from a stinger. Just wanted to let other coaches and docs know to look for more than the obvious. Thanks.

I'm typing this with one hand as I sit here in a special sling after surgery for a rotator cuff tear. I'm 20-years-old with at least two years still ahead of me in college sports. I never thought something like this could happen. I work out, pump iron, and eat healthy. I wear my supportive gear. But I got tackled from behind when I had my arm raised up to catch the football and the rest is history. The surgeon says I'll be stuck like this for a few more weeks then rehab. How long does rehab take?

I just came back from my preop counseling visit with the nurse. I'm going to have a shoulder replacement in three days. One of the handouts she gave me lists all the things that could be counted as reasons for a surgical failure. One of them was patient dissatisfaction. Why are people dissatisfied after this surgery? The handout didn't really say.

This really gets me but both my gramma and me are having the same shoulder surgery (shoulder replacement) on the same day by the same surgeon. She's 75 and I'm 45. But the funny thing is the doc thinks she's likely to have a better result than me. Why is that? I've got her beat by 30 years! And I figure as a male I'm stronger so that should count for something!

I tore my rotator cuff while doing some renovations on my home. I was using a mallet to remove some stuff from some walls. Is my rotator cuff injury the same that the baseball players get?

My doctor wanted me to rest my shoulder, ice it and take anti-inflammatory medications to heal my torn rotator cuff. I hear of athletes having surgery for it. Is there a different way of treating the shoulder depending on who you are?

What is a massive rotator cuff tear? I get the idea that it's bad but what makes a tear severe versus massive?

My brother is younger than me but in terrible shape. He smokes, he has diabetes, and he's very overweight. The orthopedic surgeon says he's not a good candidate for surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. My brother says he wants to do something, he just doesn't know what to do. So, I'm helping him surf the Internet to find out what are his options.

I put off shoulder surgery in order to compete in the 2010 Olympic games. That may have been a mistake that cost me. I didn't make it past the first preliminary rounds. The pain and loss of shoulder motion were just too big of a distraction. So, I'm scheduled now for an acromioplasty in two weeks. The question I have is -- how soon can I get back to practice? Even though the next games are four years away, I still compete in several sports for my college now.

Well, I'm ready to throw the towel in. Despite massage, acupuncture, and six-months with an osteopath, my shoulder is still painful from an impingement problem. Surgery is the next step. But the question is: do I go with the surgeon who does arthroscopic surgery or the one who does open incisions? Does it even matter?

My head is spinning with all the information I've found on-line about rotator cuff tears. I'm looking up stuff for my brother whose son (my nephew) is having rotator cuff surgery. It looks like there are all kinds of ways of repairing the tear and different ways to define success afterwards. Could you just give me a little summary on who, what, how, and when? Who should have this operation, how should it be done, when's the best time, and so on?

My sister had a rotator cuff repair 10 years ago and had a rough time of it. The tear reopened after surgery and she ended up having two more operations. Now I find myself in the same position of needing rotator cuff surgery. Is there any chance things are better now that another decade has passed -- maybe safer, better ways of doing the operation? I definitely don't want to go through what she has.

Two weeks ago, I had rotator cuff surgery. I'm doing the pendulum exercises the physical therapist showed me but I think these are stupid. I'm really ready to start using the arm more. Is there any reason why I can't move on now?

Dad had shoulder surgery for a rotator cuff tear last week and I'm here taking care of him for a few days. He's supposed to be doing some shoulder exercises that won't stress the surgical site. I saw the therapist show him how to do these at the hospital. Now that he's home, I notice he is making big giant circles. I don't remember that part. Can you tell me if that's safe with this kind of surgery?

I am a sports physical therapist working with a wide range of athletes with shoulder/arm injuries. In our clinic we use the DASH questionnaire to evaluate results before and after treatment. But the DASH isn't specific to shoulder or elbow and doesn't give a full measure of the athlete's function or ability to return-to-sport. Is there anything else out there that you know of we could use instead of the DASH (or maybe even along with the DASH)?

I'm very discouraged because my chances of a swimming scholarship just went down the tube due to a shoulder injury. When they test me in the clinic, I have full motion and strength, but the power of my strokes is clearly less and my times are way off now. Is there some way to get a better test that will show my doctor these problems?

I dislocated my shoulder two weeks ago and opted to try the conservative approach to treatment instead of surgery to repair the damage. Is there any way to predict how I'll do? Like -- will I recover? Will I dislocate this arm again?

I saw a physical therapist after dislocating my left shoulder. She put me through a complete program until I was ready to get back to work. She even did a special apprehension test to see if the shoulder was still unstable. Fortunately, everything seems to be in good working order. From start to finish, I was back on the job in eight weeks. How does that compare to other people?

I had an ultrasound picture of my rotator cuff that showed something weird. The one muscle that was starting to show signs of wear and tear wasn't torn. It was the other (healthier looking) muscle next to it that went. Is there any explanation for this?

I'm not a particularly active or athletic "senior" so I was surprised when my doctor told me my shoulder pain is from a rotator cuff tear. How could I have torn it when I don't lift weights or play tennis or any of the other things that usually cause this kind of injury?

I have pretty bad shoulder arthritis in my left shoulder. Fortunately, I am right-handed, so I can cope. I'd like to keep treating it without surgery for as long as possible. But I don't want to waste money on things that don't work. What do you recommend I try?

I've been told by one orthopedic surgeon that a hemiarthroplasty is the way to go in treating my shoulder arthritis. But when I went for a second opinion, I was advised to just have the whole shoulder joint replaced. What are your thoughts on this?

I am 33-years-old and just retiring from a professional ball throwing career. My pitching arm has become unstable from overuse. The team doc has suggested I have surgery to tighten up the joint so it will stop dislocating. It happens whenever I reach behind me to get my wallet out of my back pocket or try to put my seatbelt on in the car. What kind of surgery can they do for something like this?

How is it possible for a relatively healthy 53-year-old to end up with a rotator cuff tear and labral tear of the shoulder at the same time without an injury? That pretty much sums up my situation. I'm still trying to figure it out.

I had some major shoulder surgery about six months ago. They repaired two things: a torn rotator cuff and a torn labrum. I'm still struggling to get my motion back. The joint just seems so stiff some days. Is this normal?

I am a physical therapist in a large hospital setting. Our administrators want us to start testing patients before and after treatment in order to see what value or benefit they are getting. We've each been assigned to find test measures for different problems. Mine is for shoulder surgery. Currently, we are using the DASH for everyone. Do you recommend something else?

Our orthopedic clinic just converted part of the practice to a patient-specific condition: rotator cuff tears. Two surgeons will be dedicated to that single diagnosis. What outcomes measure do you recommend for patients who are treated conservatively versus those who have surgery?

If my shoulder popped out of the socket but went back in the socket by itself, do I have a subluxation or a dislocation?

I'm playing the odds here. With a Bankart lesion in both shoulders, I'm trying to rehab with physical therapy and skip the surgery. What's the likelihood that I can recover on my own?

I'm probably just being nosy but my neighbor had shoulder surgery she called acromioplasty. What is that and what's it for? I never really noticed she was having shoulder problems so it surprised me when she had the surgery.

I have a chronic shoulder problem from a degenerating rotator cuff and now bursitis on top of it. The surgeon has given me two treatment choices to consider: physical therapy and rehab or surgery. I really don't know which way to go. What do you suggest?

My neighbor died of a complication from shoulder surgery. They said it was an air embolism. What is this and how did she get it? It's not the sort of thing we could just ask the family but we were really wondering. It seems so tragic.

Have you ever heard of a surgeon using laughing gas during arthroscopic surgery? Not for the patient but for the joint? What's the advantage of that technique?

Whenever I raise my arms overhead for more than 30 seconds, my hands go numb. My mother is a retired nurse and she thinks this could be the sign of a heart problem. Is she right?

I confess I do tend to worry a bit more than I should. Today I'm checking to see what happens if my torn rotator cuff doesn't get better with conservative care? What are my options then?

After all these years, I finally found out the reason my shoulder is weak and cracks every time I raise it up over head. I have a rotator cuff tear. But I'm wondering why something like this doesn't hurt?

What's a brachial nerve injury and how is it treated? We just got word that our brother-in-law was in an accident and that's what happened to him.

What's the best way to recover from a frozen shoulder? No one seems to know what brought it on. It just started getting a little stiff one day and by the end of the week, I had a full-blown problem going.

What's the difference between adhesive capsulitis and a frozen shoulder? I thought they were the same thing but my sister who is a physician's assistant says 'no'.

I have a frozen shoulder that just isn't getting better. I've heard they can put you to sleep and manipulate the joint. Is there some other easier way to get the motion back without that kind of trauma?

My mother-in-law is here for a visit. She has ongoing shoulder pain and doesn't seem to know what to do. What can we do to help her?

Can anyone get one of those new reversed shoulder replacements? I had a regular shoulder implant and it didn't work. I'm looking for what I can get to replace the replacement.

I'm pretty sure the doc I'm seeing is going to recommend a new type of reverse shoulder replacement. She showed me the pictures and told me about the procedure. But she didn't say anything about what could go wrong with this operation. I'll be seeing her again next week, but help me out here. I'd like to be able to ask some questions but need some basic information to go on.

Our son broke his collar bone playing football over the weekend. The surgeon insisted on doing surgery. I thought collar bone fractures were always treated with a sling or one of those figure-eight collar bone devices. Is that old school now?

I have given up some of the most important things in life because of a stupid shoulder injury. I can't play tennis anymore. I can't sleep at night because of pain and fear the shoulder is going to dislocate again. I'm afraid to go out when it's icy because I might fall on that side. No golf, no dancing, no bowling. It's really the pits. Is there anything out there that could help me?

Oh I am so disappointed that my shoulder surgery for a chronic dislocations didn't hold. If I have it done again, what are my chances it will take the second time? Should I even bother?

I thought bones were fully developed by age 18 for boys. But when I dislocated my collarbone where it attaches to the breast bone this year, the radiologist who read the X-rays and CT scans said my bone wasn't fully "ossified". They explained ossified means the bone is fully hardened. Am I unusual or just a late bloomer?

My daughter just went in for surgery for a dislocated sternoclavicular joint. They weren't sure how severe it is because of the swelling. What can we expect with an injury like this?

I'v been told I'm a "poor risk" for rotator cuff surgery because I'm overweight, a diabetic, and I smoke. But despite all that, I'm fairly active and feel good -- except for the shoulder. Can I beat the odds and have a good result? Surely with all the people running around with this problem, they've come up with a decent solution for people like me.

I'm really catching on to this new idea of choosing medical treatment based on evidence rather than just doing what everyone has always done it because "that's the way it's always been done." When it comes to treatment for rotator cuff, what do the experts have to say? I've already had surgery for mine (several years ago), but I'd kinda like to know if surgery is really still recommended.

Do you think it is possible to rehab a chronically dislocating shoulder and avoid surgery? I know from the MRIs they took that I have a severe tear of the glenohumeral ligament. I'd really like to avoid surgery if I could.

It took three surgeons before they could finally diagnose my shoulder with a humeral avulsion of the glenohumeral ligament. I guess they call this an HAGL injury. Even with X-rays and MRIs, they never found the problem until my first surgery didn't work and they went in a second time. Is this typical with these kinds of shoulder injuries? I'm just wondering...

I've seen two different surgeons now about getting my shoulder injected. One wants to go in from the front. The other says it's more accurate to go in from the back. Does it matter? Should I get a third opinion?

Despite my workout routine (which I do daily), I tore my rotator cuff. The surgeon says I probably had a worn out tendon to begin with and the exercises helped but couldn't prevent the injury. Do you think this is really true? Maybe I'm just not doing the right kind of exercises (or maybe not enough exercises).

Is it possible to have a rotator cuff strain that is not a rotator cuff tear?

My orthopedic surgeon thinks I have something called coracoid impingement. I guess it's fairly uncommon and sometimes difficult to diagnose. She wants me to see a physical therapist before considering surgery. I'd rather just have her cut and paste me back together. What can a therapist do for this problem?

I had a rotator cuff repair that I'm sure I needed but I still have shoulder pain. It's right in the front of my arm and mostly hurts when I raise my arm up. I don't seem to have any problem moving my arm, it just hurts. Should I go back to the surgeon? See my physical therapist? Give it some more time? (It's been going on six months now). i can't quite figure out what to do.

I'm on my third shoulder surgery now. Seems like I get one problem taken care of and another one pops up (literally). Now I have what they call a "Popeye deformity." Will I need surgery for this?

I am a cabinet maker with an unfortunate problem: shoulder pain. Anytime I try to bend my arm or use a push-pull motion, it hurts like the dickens. The surgeon wants to release part of my biceps tendon away from the shoulder. She says this won't affect my work and will probably reduce my shoulder pain. Would you recommend this type of surgery?

What are the chances I can heal from a full-thickness tear of my rotator cuff? According to the tests I had done, only one tendon (the supraspinatus) was damaged. Right now they are recommending physical therapy with surgery as a back-up plan.

I was in Israel with a tour group when I fell and hurt my arm. The surgeon who saw me ordered ultrasound pictures of my shoulder instead of an MRI. When I got back to the U.S., my orthopedic surgeon here requested MRIs. Should they have done MRIs in the first place?

My 18-year-old son had a seizure severe enough that his shoulder dislocated posteriorly (back out of the socket). He has had a history of seizures but never this bad and never with enough force to physically hurt himself. The shoulder has popped back into the socket but there is a concern that it will pop out again. The surgeon doesn't want to do surgery until a) our son has finished at least six months of physical therapy and b) his meds are regulated enough to prevent another such episode. This sounds like a reasonable plan but I'm checking around to see if other surgeons would handle it differently.

My sister has a chronically dislocating shoulder. She tried rehab but got kicked out because she either didn't go to her appointments or if she did, she didn't do her exercises. Does it seem like she should have surgery for something like this and be done with it? Should I go with her and make this suggestion to the doctor?

I am having a weird shoulder problem. I don't have any pain but every time I reach back to put my seatbelt on, my left shoulder clunks. I don't know if anyone else can hear it, but I can feel it. The clunk only happens one time. If I let the seatbelt go back and try to reach it a second time, the shoulder seems fine. What could be causing this?

I have one shoulder that keeps dislocating. Today I finally found out why: there's a huge hole in the head of the humerus. I guess I blew that out the first time the shoulder dislocated in a soccer game. Is there any chance this will heal on its own? I'd like to avoid surgery.

I'm a physical therapist looking for some help. I have a 33-year-old patient (woman) with scapular winging on the left and a "clunking" that can be felt and heard with shoulder abduction. Despite all my testing and observations of her movements, I cannot figure out what's causing this. Any ideas you can offer me would be very helpful.

I was trying on clothes at the mall the other day in front of those three-way mirrors. I noticed that one of my shoulder blades is sticking out. I've never seen that before. I tried to wiggle my shoulder to get it to go back like the other one but it's still very visible. What could be causing this? Should I do anything about it?

I am someone I always describe as a "minimalist" when it comes to dental work or medical problems. So when my orthopedic surgeon suggested debridement instead of a complete surgical reconstruction of a torn rotator cuff, I said 'yes'! But now I'm 24-hours away from the surgery and having second thoughts. Is this really the best way to go?

I'm so glad I found your website. I've been searching all weekend for help deciding what to do about my rotator cuff tear. I'm not particularly happy to think I might have surgery that could put me out of commission for six months. And there's so much information out there, I don't know how to judge what will work best. I'm 75-years-young and I have had this problem a long time. The surgeon says it's likely a "massive" tear.

What's the difference between a frozen shoulder and adhesive capsulitis? I thought they were the same thing but the orthopedic surgeon I saw for my shoulder pain says they are actually considered separate problems these days.

I have a shoulder problem that's been diagnosed as adhesive capsulitis. The surgeon says she can either manipulate the arm while I'm asleep under anesthesia or she can go in and snip the adhesions holding the joint from moving. Which approach is best and why?

I'm finding quite a bit on the Internet about shoulder dislocations but not much about the kind that I just had: a posterior dislocation. What are the guidelines for rehab and recovery for this kind of injury?

My 12-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with a seizure disorder severe enough to cause injury during a seizure. The doctors are trying to regulate her meds to prevent this from happening. In the meantime, I'm scouring the Internet for any information I can find. I saw mention of shoulder dislocations with seizures. What is that all about?

How in the world did I end up with a frozen shoulder? I'm 36-years-old, very healthy, and athletic. But one day I woke up with a stiff shoulder and the rest is history. Three years later and I am still struggling to get back to 'normal' (whatever that is!). Can you shed any light on this for me?

Should I get a steroid injection for my frozen shoulder? The doctor thinks this will help me sleep but says it doesn't give long-lasting benefit. The shoulder's been bugging me for months now and I'm exhausted but I've heard steroid shots are bad for you. What do you think?

I saw a picture in a biking magazine of a guy who could lift his mountain bike up over his head after having a shoulder replacement. I have a shoulder replacement and there's no way I can do that. Why not?

I have been to two different orthopedic surgeons about my shoulder. They both recommended doing a Bankart repair. The first surgeon described the surgery as being an open procedure. The second surgeon said, "No, an arthroscopic approach is better." How do I decide between the two?

I'm doing some on-line research for myself and found your website. The information you have on shoulder problems and the Bankart surgery have been very helpful. I've also found some information on another website that says I should look for a surgeon who does this procedure arthroscopically. Is that true?

Do you think there's any risk in delaying rotator cuff surgery indefinitely? I'd like to take a wait-and-see approach but I'm afraid that could jeopardize surgery if it turns out that's what I'll need.

Dad has a bum shoulder the surgeon wants to "fix." He's lived this way just fine for 20 or more years. What good is this surgery going to do him except line the surgeon's pockets?

My mother-in-law was just told she has an infection of the shoulder replacement she got last year. She's diabetic and she drinks more than she lets on. Is it possible that's why she got the infection? I know the nurses are always telling her she has to watch her feet and toes for infection because of the diabetes. I can't imagine the drinking helps.

Have you ever heard of something called an antibiotic spacer (or something like that) for a shoulder infection? My father had a shoulder replacement about six months ago that's been nothing but trouble. Now he's got an infection and this is the treatment they are recommending. We're 2000 miles away and can't really help but we offered to research it on the Internet. What can you tell us about the procedure?

I had a very large rotator cuff tear repaired but it didn't hold like I had hoped. The surgeon said it was both a mechanical and a biologic failure. I'm not sure I really understand what that means. Can you explain it?

I had a rotator cuff tear repaired, wore the silly pillow sling, and then started physical therapy. Everything went well until I was sent home with a home program. I started having problems with more and more pain and less and less motion. Eventually I found out I had retorn the repair. Is this a common problem? Is it the therapist's fault? My fault? I guess I'm wondering if I have a case for a lawsuit.

I am a cancer survivor with a question for you. I'm thinking about having a rotator cuff tear repaired and the surgeon suggested using growth factors to speed up recovery time. Will this do anything to speed up cancer cells as well?

I had a full-thickness rotator cuff tear that was repaired using a special blood plasma product. It's supposed to speed up healing and recovery. Right now I'm still in the special pillow sling. I'm not scheduled to start rehab until the end of four (maybe six) full weeks. Is that faster than usual (i.e., without the special treatment)?

I am considering having rotator cuff surgery but my surgeon says my osteoporosis may be a problem. I've been told that my brittle bones may make it harder to get a good result. Is there anything I can do about this? Vitamins? Medications? I have seen commercials for medications that are supposed to help. But I've also heard reports on the radio that the drugs aren't all they are cracked up to be? What's the best way to go?

I don't really have a question, just a comment. My mother had a rotator cuff repair against the best advice of her surgeon. She was warned that there is a high rate of failure. Her age (87), her diabetes, and her smoking were said to be big obstacles against her. But her main surgeon said it was her brittle bones that were the final straw. Please tell your patients to listen to the advice their doctors give them. It could save families a boatload of money and suffering.

I had a rotator cuff repair surgery six months ago that failed. The surgeon wants to redo it. I'd like to think about this before jumping in with both feet. What sorts of things should I consider?

My husband just got the surgeon's report on his failed rotator cuff surgery. We were told if they can grab hold of the tendons and re-attach them it will be 8 weeks before hubby can do any physical therapy. If the surgeon can't fix the torn repair, then he will shave off the frayed edges do what they can before closing. He said the shoulder is a real mess with half of one muscle mass as scar tissue and another muscle that is about 40 per cent scar tissue. Our question is: is there really any point in doing more surgery?

I've just been diagnosed with something called subacromial impingement syndrome also known as SIS for short. What causes this to develop? I've been active all my life but not overly so. I'm not a grade A athlete or anything like that. I have 57-years-old so I know things are going to start falling apart. I just wasn't prepared for it to happen quite so soon.

I'm trying to figure out what to do about my shoulder. The X-ray shows a big bone spur under the part the surgeon called the acromion. The rotator cuff is torn and I have something the physical therapist calls scapular dyskinesia. Everyone has a different idea about how to treat these three problems. Is there any one-way to go or even an order of steps that should be followed?

I have severe, severe shoulder pain and very limited motion. The surgeon says I have a Stage I tear of the rotator cuff and wants me to go to physical therapy. I really think I need surgery. Should I get a second opinion?

I have painful shoulder osteoarthritis. My shoulder is constantly dislocating. Should I have a joint replacement?

I had a total shoulder replacement about nine months ago. I'm not really very happy with the results. My wife says, "What did you expect? It's just a fake joint, not the real thing." I guess I did expect more. Am I out of line? What do other people say?

Do you think it makes any difference whether surgery to remove the tip of the collarbone at the AC joint is done with an open incision versus arthroscopically? I can have it done either way if I want to -- or I can leave the decision up to the surgeon.

Well, I'm ready to throw the towel in. I have bad arthritis of my AC joint from an old, old football injury. I've tried everything and the pain is unrelenting. I'm going to have the surgeon lop off the end of the bone. Anything I should know before I head in this direction?

I injured my shoulder playing touch football. It popped out of the socket but went right back in. The orthopedic surgeon I saw thinks it will be okay but there is a risk or it popping out again. If it went back in okay, and I don't stress it, will it stay there?

Do you think it's true that volleyball players have more shoulder dislocations than anyone else? What about second or third dislocations? Two girls on our team are out with their first shoulder dislocations and we are all worried.

The orthopedic surgeon who is treating me showed me the MRI results and I definitely have a tear in the rotator cuff. But I don't remember ever injuring this arm so how is that possible?

I am in a quandry as to what to do. I have always been athletic but have started developing some shoulder problems in my 30s that I can't seem to overcome. My right shoulder seems too loose and even hangs down compared to my left. I have to consciously hold it up and back to make it even with the left side. Years of competitive sports may be catching up with me. What can I do about this? What should I do?

I just came back from the orthopedic surgeon's office where I got a shot of cortisone in my shoulder for an impingement problem. I forgot to ask what I can and can't do for activity and exercise. Now it's Friday after hours and I have the weekend ahead of me. What advice can you give me?

I'm thinking about having a cortisone injection into my shoulder. Since I'm very sensitive to all medications, can I suggest the physician use a lower dose than usual? Is this out of line

I'm thinking about having a procedure done for my shoulder arthritis called joint resurfacing. The surgeon tells me this has been around a good 30 years so it's not new. If that's true, what kind of results are people getting who have this operation done? Does it hold up? Would I end up with a shoulder replacement anyway and should just start there in the first place?

I just can't decide what to do for my shoulder arthritis. One surgeon says I need a total shoulder replacement. Another tells me I could have a joint resurfacing procedure done and save enough bone to put the total joint replacement off for quite some time. How is a patient supposed to decide?

I was walking out to the car to take my 86-year-old father to a dental appointment when he went down. No warning at all. One minute he was up and going, the next he was down and out. He didn't fall hard, just kinda melted to the ground. Even so, he ended up with a shoulder dislocation and fracture. Doesn't it usually take more than that to dislocate the arm? Now I'm worried it will happen again.

I'm a little concerned about my 72-year-old mother. She fell at home and dislocated her shoulder. The emergency room doctor was able to pop it back in place but she still can't seem to move it normally and it's been three months. Is that normal for this age? What do you suggest?

I am an orthopedic surgeon and thought you might be able to help me out. I saw a report on postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis somewhere recently but can't find it again. I seem to recall there were some specific recommendations for surgeons to help prevent this condition. I'd like to review those again. Can you help me out?

Our 22-year-old son went into arthroscopic surgery for a rotator cuff tear and came out 100 years older. Within weeks of the surgery, his shoulder had aged to the point of being like an old, old man with severe arthritis. The surgeon's only explanation was to say "it happens sometimes." Can you tell us anything more than that?

Our son came back from Iraq pretty banged up and in the hospital for months. Now that he is home and continuing rehabilitation, he's been complaining of arm pain but says i'ts also numb and he can't move it. The doctor is calling it a "conversion syndrome" (a physical manifestation of emotions). We don't agree. How do we get a proper diagnosis?

My daughter was involved in a terrible horseback riding accident where the horse reared up and then fell backwards with her pinned underneath. She survived and made it through all kinds of surgeries and rehab. Now it's several months later and they've discovered her shoulder blade was fractured, too. The surgeon is proposing a treatment she calls "benign neglect" -- let it heal on its own. Is this wise? Do you think we should insist on surgery? We're not too gung-ho on that plan but will face it if we must.

I am getting ready to have surgery for a rotator cuff tear. The surgeon said I would be wearing a funky pillow splint under my arm for "four to six weeks." I'm just wondering how they know which it is: four, five, or six weeks? I'd like to be done with all this as quickly as possible.

I had surgery for a rotator cuff tear two weeks ago. I'm wearing the blasted abduction sling but I truly hate it. I am itching to take it off and just move my arm a tiny bit. I've been given instructions by the surgeon but told not to do anything more than dangle and do circles with the arm while dangling. Would it really hurt anything to give it a tiny bit of movement?

I'm really disappointed in the results of my arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. I had all kinds of high hopes of being back on the tennis court and golf course by this summer. Instead, all I have to show for the surgery is more shoulder pain and even less motion than before surgery. The surgeon says it's called failed rotator cuff syndrome. What the heck does THAT mean?

I just got a failing grade in life. I had arthroscopic shoulder surgery to fix a broken rotator cuff and it didn't take. The physician's assistant I saw today explained to me that this is a case of "failed rotator cuff syndrome." I was told all about the next surgery I can have to fix the first one. The question is: if it didn't work the first time, why would another surgery be any more successful?

I have a cousin who can pop his shoulders in and out just by trying. This can't be normal. Is it

Can you walk me through the typical treatment for a problem of shoulder instability? I don't know how it happened, but I ended up with one shoulder that just doesn't work normally. The physician who examined me called it unidirectional instability. I'm set up to start physical therapy next week but what's the big picture look like for something like this?

I've been doing some research on the internet about rotator cuff tears. Both my husband and my sister were diagnosed with this as the cause of their shoulder pain when they didn't do anything to injure themselves. We are all in our 40s and healthy (but not athletic) so I'm just wondering what causes this to happen?

My orthopedic surgeon is planning to do arthroscopic surgery to repair my torn rotator cuff. She showed me how it will be done and I watched a video of someone else's surgery. I noticed in the movie the surgeons mentioned using a double-row of stitches for better healing and stability. My own surgeon said she uses single-row sutures. Do you think I should ask for the double method? Does it matter?

I'm 45 years-old and facing surgery for what's called a "SLAP" injury of my right shoulder. I've seen two different surgeons who have given me two different treatment choices. The one doctor said my age made a difference. The second one said it didn't matter. Who's right?

I love the Internet because you can find almost anything here! Right now I'm looking for any information I can find for my 16-year-old daughter who has a SLAP injury of the shoulder from playing volleyball. I'm finding there are many different ways to treat this problem. What do you recommend?

I went to an exercise physiologist for some help with a shoulder/scapula problem. She was adamant that I have to do a core training program as part of the rehab. Is this just a craze or is it really all that important? I don't really see the connection to the shoulder but I'm not trained in this area either. What do you think?

Last fall I suffered a shoulder injury that still plagues me. Now I'm starting to have problems with my shoulder blade. Whenever I raise my arm up overhead, the shoulder blade seems to be rubbing against my ribs causing a scraping and grinding feeling. Is this a new problem or just part of the ongoing shoulder problem?

I'm reading everything I can find on-line about platelet-rich plasma therapy for rotator cuff tears. I think this may be the way I want to go IF I have surgery. I notice sometimes they talk about blood injection therapy, sometimes it's platelet-rich plasma, and today I found reference to platelet-rich fibrin matrix. What's the difference among these three things?

I was thinking about having that new blood injection therapy when the surgeon repairs my torn rotator cuff tear. Everything I read about it was so positive. Now I heard on the news that surgeons in NYC say it could have a negative effect on healing. What should I do now?

I don't know how it happened or why but I developed a frozen shoulder over the summer. Now starts the long rehab process to try and get my motion back. Can you tell me what is really going on inside the joint and what my chances are for a full recovery?

I have a full-blown case of frozen shoulder. The PA who saw me gave me all kinds of options from doing nothing to having surgery. What do you recommend?

My partner had his shoulder injected with a steroid to help reduce swelling and pain. I have the same kind of problem so I had the same surgeon inject me, too. He got much better results than I did but he's much younger (I'm 72 and he is only 60). Do you think age makes a difference? I was never bothered by being a woman older than my partner. I hate to admit it, but this has me thinking more about the age difference than ever before.

I had a steroid injection for a painful rotator cuff shoulder problem. I was expecting relief from the pain fairly quickly (I was told in the first hour after injection) but nothing happened. The surgeon wants to inject the shoulder again. Does this make any sense? If it didn't work the first time why do it again?

I'm looking for information on the kinds of problems I might run into having a reverse shoulder replacement for rheumatoid arthritis. I understand these implants are used most often for people with osteoarthritis. Can they be used for people like me? I guess I should tell you I have one shoulder almost totally destroyed by RA, a torn rotator cuff on that side, and the same problem starting on the other side.

I know this is going to sound funny but I just came back from filing taxes with my tax accountant. She told me she had a reverse shoulder replacement for a bad shoulder from RA. This is exactly what I have but I didn't think it was possible to get a shoulder replacement because I also have a badly torn rotator cuff on that side. She said she had the same thing and that's why they used this type of implant. Should I ask my doctor about this?

Have you ever heard of someone having 'buyer's remorse' after getting a joint replacement? That's how I feel with my 'new' shoulder replacement. At this point, I'd rather have my old shoulder back. This new one has been nothing but trouble. First it sank down into the bone. I had a bone graft to help shore it up. Then the bone graft didn't 'take.' What next?

I had a shoulder replacement done that came undone. The socket side just loosened and started shifting around. How often does this happen and why does it happen?

What is an "engaging" Hill-Sachs injury of the shoulder? That's what the report I received from the orthopedic surgeon says is my diagnosis.

I am a physical therapist at a large specialty orthopedic hospital. Two of our surgeons recently went to Europe where they learned how to do a new procedure called Remplissage. They will be doing this surgery on some of our athletes with dual Bankart and Hill-Sachs injuries. My job is to come up with an appropriate rehab program. The surgeons will meet with us next week to review what we recommend. What do YOU recommend?

We just came back from the orthopedic surgeon's office where my husband was told he is a good candidate for a reverse shoulder replacement. The surgeon did mention the various problems that can develop (like they do with any surgery). But he also talked about implant "failure." I'm not sure I understand what that means. Can you explain it?

My father is going to have a special kind of shoulder replacement called "reverse." He is 72-years-old, a former Marine sargeant and ardent baseball player. This is going to set him back quite a bit. How well do these new kind of reverse replacements hold up? He says he's still got a good 30-years left in him and thinks he will outlive what he calls "my fake shoulder."

Can you tell me what is an "engaged" Hill-Sachs shoulder problem? I just got the CT scan results of my right shoulder but don't see the surgeon for another week to find out what it means.

I had a bad fall from a seizure last month and dislocated both of my shoulders forward out of the sockets. The right shoulder has a Hill-Sach lesion they tell me I should have repaired. What would happen if I just leave it alone? Will it heal on its own?

I had surgery for a torn rotator cuff (partial tear). At the time of surgery, they also saw a small labral tear that got repaired too. I took the KJOC survey and it says I'm going to be able to get back to sports (I play baseball on a college scholarship). How reliable is this test? Can I count on it to be accurate? I kinda need to make a decision one way or the other about getting serious in rehab or letting it go.

I am a college-level athlete playing on both the baseball and golf teams. I didn't notice this before but now that we are in baseball season, my shoulder seems weak. I can't throw the ball with the speed I'm used to, and I seem to have less control than last season. Are there some exercises I can do for this problem?

How do you explain the persistent pain I'm having in my shoulder? My sister (who is a physical therapist) thinks I have something called impingement. But when she tested my arm, everything hurt from the shoulder down to the hand. How can my hand hurt if it's my shoulder that's the problem?

I developed an impingement syndrome of my shoulder slowly over time (I think). I've had acupuncture and physical therapy (oh, and also massages) and still have pain all the time. Where do I go from here?

I just found out my shoulder replacement is coming loose. I can't begin to think what I might have done to cause this. I followed every instruction of my surgeon and my physical therapist. I have been just fine for eight years and now this. The surgeon offered no explanation for this happening. What can you tell me?

Two years ago, I got a shoulder replacement. It's been working great and I am totally pleased. But according to the X-rays, the socket side is loose. What does this look like on X-rays? How do they know for sure that's what's happening?

The nurse practitioner I am seeing for a frozen shoulder told me it is a "self-limiting" problem and I don't need any special treatment. Just wait and the body will self-correct. Is this really true?

Have you ever heard of a total body freezing technique to help with a frozen shoulder? I heard they do this in China. Does it work? How does it work?

Have you ever heard of someone having their arm actually amputated after a shoulder replacement?

My mother is agonizing over whether or not she should have a second surgery to correct problems with her shoulder replacement. I don't have any idea how to advise her. What are some of the things she should be thinking about when making this decision?

Twenty years ago, I had one of the new mini-open rotator cuff repairs. Still doing good. I'm wndering how other people did with this surgery and what to expect (like how long does this type of repair last)?

I retired this year from the construction business. A major reason I retired was because I injured my rotator cuff and had to have surgery. They repaired a torn supraspinatus tendon and shaved away some of the bone pressing on it. I still have a claim with Worker's Comp. My case worker made some snarky comment about how I would probably "be all better" when the claim was settled. Is that really something that happens to Worker's Compensation cases? I hate to think I'm that kind of person.

Whenever I go see my physical therapist for my shoulder rehab, he is always pushing, pushing, pushing. It's this exercise and that activity. Is it really necessary to do so many different kinds of things to get back to a normal, stable joint? Sometimes I wonder if I saw someone else, if it wouldn't be easier and faster. What do you think?

I have multidirectional shoulder instability from playing hockey as a kid and getting winged around the rink by the arm. My surgeon has suggested I try some physical therapy before thinking about surgery. Will this really help?

I really like the new approach to medicine these days -- there has to be evidence that something works to use it. I'm actually being a little sarcastic because it seems like common sense to me. Anyway, what's the evidence for or against steroid injections to the shoulder? I'm researching it for my mother who has bad arthritis and is considering this as her next step.

What's the best way to treat a painful shoulder (from arthritis)? Should I go to physical therapy for a few weeks (longer time to recovery?) or just get the steroid shots and be done with it?

I've had two steroid injections into my shoulder for a frozen shoulder. Nothing happened that I could tell. Someone suggested I try prolotherapy. Someone else said to ask about hyaluronic acid. Would you recommend one over the other? What about for me?

When would you recommend using hyaluronic acid injections into a frozen shoulder over steroid injections? I'm not sure I would opt for either one but I'd like to find out all I can first before deciding anything.

I'm looking for information on snapping scapula syndrome. If I have the surgery, what kind of recovery can I expect? How long will it take?

Everytime I life my arm up overhead, I get a loud snapping sound and instant pain. It feels like it's coming from my shoulder blade. This is becoming a major problem in my life because I am a lacrosse player on a college scholarship. What can I do to stop this from happening?

I'm going to be frank: I am more than just XXL, I am very obese. According to the doctor, my BMI is 50. At the same time, I do work out to stay healthy (I don't think I'll ever really lose the weight). But I need a shoulder replacement. Can fat people like me handle joint replacement?

I am fair skinned, fat, and over sixty. I tell you these things because they are reasons why I might not heal quickly after shoulder surgery. Yes, I am thinking about having a shoulder replacement despite the fact that I still smoke, I'm overweight, and so on. Is there a special kind of replacement just for obese people?

Okay guys -- which way should I go: reverse shoulder arthroplasty or hemiplasty? Without some kind of help or guidance, the decision is going to be a coin toss for me. And I don't really think that's such a good idea, so I'm searching for help. I'm 72-years-old with a very weak and painful shoulder because of a torn rotator cuff. These are the two options I've been told are my best bet.

Okay by everyone else's standards, I am considered "elderly" but even at 88, I feel energetic and ready to take on the next 20 years. The problem is I have a severely torn rotator cuff and the pain and loss of motion are very limiting. My children and grandchildren are just sure "Granny" (that's what they call me) won't make it. What are the odds here?

I can't really say too much and please do not release my name but I am a professional pitcher with a major league baseball team and a serious shoulder problem. I have both a rotator cuff tear and a labral tear. It kills me to pitch but it is my life. However, my pitching accuracy is so off and my speed is so slow, I have no choice but to try surgery. How long would it take to recover from something like this?

How does one go about getting the "finesse" of pitching back after shoulder surgery? I had a labral tear repair and can pitch the baseball okay. But I'm noticing some difficulties with pitch control and wondering how I can get the "wobble" out of my pitches. Nothing I've tried so far has helped.

I had a shoulder replacement for bad osteoarthritis five years ago that has come loose. Now it looks like I need a shoulder replacement on the other side as well. How can I keep this problem from happening again? I don't overuse that arm but I may have overused the "good" arm and wore it out so that now I need another replacement. I don't know what to think.

Six weeks ago, I had surgery to remove my arthritic shoulder joint and replace it with a shoulder replacement. When I was at my follow-up appointment, the surgeon mentioned doing some extra "reaming" to correct a tipped shoulder socket. Why would this be necessary? I kinda don't get it but I didn't say anything at the time. Now I'm wondering more about it.

My physician told me not to start physical therapy until one month after my rotator cuff surgery. My next door neighbor had the same surgery last year and his doctor told him to start right away. Am I missing something? Should I be concerned that I won’t get recover as quickly?

I am planning to have rotator cuff surgery and am worried about potential for a retear. I am a pretty active person and want to be sure that I can play softball again next summer. What are the chances that I will retear my rotator cuff?

I was recently diagnosed with frozen shoulder and was told that it will just heal itself. Is this true? Isn't there anything else I can do for it? I am 62 years old and otherwise healthy.

I am a 57 year old male who plays a lot of recreational softball, two to three nights a week including practice. I recently found out that I have to have rotator cuff surgery to repair a torn tendon. What are the chances I will be able to return to recreational softball?

I am slated to have a rotator cuff repair in a few weeks and my surgeon says he wants to inject “platelet-rich plasma” at the site to further healing.  Does this really work?

I have heard horror stories regarding failed rotator cuff repairs.  I am on the fence about going through with a repair.  What kinds of things lead to a successful repair and what can I do to make sure, if I do go through with it, that mine works?

What can I do to try and prepare for shoulder surgery?

What is the recovery like after surgery for an open or arthroscopic shoulder repair?

Is using the tendon of the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle to anchor the collar bone to the sternum this surgery better than using a tendon from another part of the body?

What is the recovery like following reconstruction of the SC joint using a SCM tendon graft?

I have noticed that my shoulder blade sticks out on one side. It is the same side that I get shoulder pain when rock climbing, what is happening?

I know that weakness in several different muscles that can cause scapular winging. How can I tell what weakness is causing my scapular winging?

I am in my eighties and recently acquired a humeral head fracture from a fall. I wasn’t doing so good with this arm prior to this fall and didn’t really use it anyway.  My surgeon does not want to fix it.  Is this ok or should I get a second opinion?

I am in my 20’s and recently broke my upper arm bone during a skiing accident.  They call it a "mal-union" break.  What is this?

I am 45 year old male with continued pain and stiffness one-year postop R shoulder SLAP repair, does this mean an additional surgery?

I am a 23 year old beach volleyball player and have undergone a surgical SLAP repair. I still have pain and am unable to perform my usual serve. I have a big tournament coming up in 3 months, what should I do?

I just dislocated my shoulder playing basketball and had it reduced at the local ER? How long will I be in this sling?

What presentation does an acute anterior shoulder dislocation typically have?

I have been diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis, I have read that sometimes you can also have a rotator cuff injury and with this diagnosis. How will I know if this is also the case?

My mom has pain in her shoulder and limited range of motion, but only for reaching overhead. She did not have any known injury. The doctor has told her she has adhesive capsulitis, does she need an MRI to confirm this diagnosis?