Shoulder injuries and conditions

Activities that involve excessive and repetitive overhead motion are the most common causes of shoulder pain and injuries. Most commonly injured shoulder areas are the ligaments, muscles and tendons. Pain is the most common symptom of a shoulder injury. Dr. Shook is a trained sports medicine and shoulder specialist who treats tears, dislocations and most other shoulder conditions or injuries.

Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff tear is a common athletic and overuse injury among adults. A torn rotator cuff weakens the shoulder and makes daily activities painful and difficult to do.

Most rotator cuff tears are caused by normal wear and tear that comes along with aging. People who do repetitive lifting or overhead activities are also at risk for rotator cuff tears. Athletes are especially vulnerable to overuse tears, particularly tennis players and baseball pitchers. Most tears in young adults are caused by a traumatic injury such as a fall.

For about 50 percent of rotator cuff tears, nonsurgical rotator cuff treatment relieves pain and improves function in the shoulder; however, shoulder strength does not usually improve without surgery. Consult an orthopedic surgeon to determine whether surgery is necessary or not.

Learn More

Labral Tears

A superior labrum anterior and posterior (SLAP) tear is usually an athletic injury, occurring in the labrum of the shoulder, which is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the socket of the shoulder joint.

SLAP tears can be caused by acute trauma or by repetitive shoulder motion, including: a car accident, a fall on an outstretched arm, forceful pulling on the arm, rapid or forceful movement of the arm when it is above the level of the shoulder and a shoulder dislocation.

People who participate in repetitive overhead sports, such as throwing athletes or weightlifters, can experience labrum tears as a result of repeated shoulder motion.

Many SLAP tears are the result of wearing down the labrum, which occurs slowly over time.

In most cases, initial treatment for a SLAP tear is nonsurgical. Surgery may be necessary if your pain causes disability and is not relieved with nonsurgical methods. Consult a sports medicine specialist to determine whether surgery is necessary or not.

Learn More

Shoulder dislocations

Although the shoulder joint is the body’s most mobile joint, it also makes the shoulder an easy joint to dislocate. A partial dislocation (subluxation) means the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) is partially out of the socket (glenoid).

A complete dislocation means it is completely out of socket.

The shoulder joint can dislocate forward, backward or downward. The most common type of shoulder dislocation is when the shoulder slips forward (anterior instability). This means the upper arm bone moved forward and down out of its joint. It may happen when the arm is put in a throwing position.

To achieve shoulder pain relief for a dislocated shoulder a closed reduction is performed. After the shoulder is reduced, the patient is placed in a sling. In patients with recurrent instability or athletes participating in contact sports, surgery may be recommended to help stabilize the shoulder. Consult an orthopedic surgeon to determine whether surgery is necessary or not.

Learn More

Shoulder Impingement

The rotator cuff is a common source of aching shoulder pain and can be a result of tendinitis, bursitis or impingement. Rotator cuff pain is common in both young athletes and middle-age people. Young athletes who use their arms overhead for swimming, repetitive lifting, construction, painting, baseball and tennis are also prone to this shoulder pain. Pain can also develop due to a minor injury or occur with no apparent cause.

Non-surgical and surgical treatment options are available. Dr. Shook will consider your age, activity level, general health and type of tear you have before deciding on the best treatment plan for you. 

Learn More


Dr. Shook has a number of handouts for patients to better understand their particular shoulder injury, explain treatment options and outline rehabilitation programs.