Types of Shoulder Injuries

Types of Shoulder Injuries, Knee and Shoulder InstituteA shoulder injury can be painful and hamper the normal functioning of the shoulder and arm. Physical therapy, pain medications and other non-invasive treatments may be applied to treat shoulder problems.

Arthroscopic surgery may be necessary in extreme cases of shoulder injuries. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler provide treatments for shoulder injuries to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding locations.



Dislocation may occur when the ball at the top of the bone in the upper arm pops out of the socket. If the shoulder is pulled very hard or twisted, a dislocation may take place. The surgeon will perform a procedure to push the ball of the upper arm back into the socket.

Additional therapies may include wearing a sling or device, applying ice three to four times a day, and performing range of motion exercises. Surgery may be needed if the tissue or nerve around the shoulder has been injured.



If the ligaments between the collarbone and the shoulder blade are torn, a shoulder separation will occur. The injury can occur due to a blow to the shoulder or falling on an outstretched hand.

Treatment includes a sling to keep the shoulder in place, adequate rest, ice therapy, exercise, and surgery in case of severe tears. Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler are board certified orthopedic surgeons receiving patients from Las Vegas, Nevada, and nearby areas.


Rotator Cuff Disease

Tendinitis and Bursitis are two types of rotator cuff diseases, which may occur individually or at the same time. They involve inflammation of the shoulder tendons or bursa. Pain medications, ultrasound therapy, ice application, gentle stretching exercise, or corticosteroid injections may be used for treatment. If the shoulder does not improve in six to 12 months, surgery may be performed.


Rotator Cuff Tear

Aging, falls, sports or repetitive motion activities may cause damage to the rotator cuff. Treatment for the torn rotator cuff includes adequate rest, application of heat or cold to the sore region, stimulation of muscles and nerves with electrical pulses, ultrasound therapy, cortisone injections and range of motion exercise. Surgery may be used when the tear does not get repaired with other treatments.


Frozen Shoulder

Restricted movement of the shoulder or frozen shoulder may occur due to various factors such as lack of use due to chronic pain, worsening arthritis, growth of tissue in the shoulder joint to restrict motion, or lack of fluid in the joint. Pain meds, heat therapy, stretching exercise, electrical stimulation of nerves, cortisone injections or surgery may be used to treat a frozen shoulder.



A fracture in the shoulder usually involves the upper arm bone or the collarbone. Fractures are often caused by a blow to the shoulder or by a fall. The surgeon will put the bones into the correct position to support healing. A sling or another device will be used to maintain the bones in the right position. Once the bone has healed, shoulder exercises will have to be performed to restore movement. Surgery may have to be used in extreme cases.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9394

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