Shoulder injuries and conditions treated by orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Troy Roberson

Shoulder injuries are most commonly caused by activities that involve excessive and repetitive overhead motion. Most commonly affected areas in the shoulder are the ligaments, muscles and tendons. Pain is the most common symptom of a shoulder injury. Dr. Roberson is trained to treat tears, dislocations and most other shoulder conditions or injuries.


Shoulder arthritis is also referred to as glenohumeral arthritis. Arthritis is a loss of articular cartilage (the surface on the ends of your bones in joints). Osteoarthritis (wear and tear arthritis) is most common but inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis also can lead to loss of articular cartilage.


Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder replacement surgery, also known as a total shoulder arthroplasty, may be necessary when the pain and function of your shoulder is no longer allowing you to have a great quality of life and non-surgical or less invasive surgical options are not able to help you.


Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff tear is a common cause of pain and disability among adults. Rotator cuff injuries cause shoulder instability and makes daily activities painful and difficult to do.

Most rotator cuff tears are largely 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 treatment relieves pain and improves function in the shoulder; however, shoulder strength does not usually improve without surgery.


Labral Tears

A superior labrum anterior and posterior (SLAP) tear is an injury to 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.


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 all the way out of the 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.

The immediate treatment for a dislocated shoulder is a closed reduction. 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.


Shoulder Impingement

The rotator cuff is a common source of pain in the shoulder 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, baseball and tennis are particularly vulnerable. Also repetitive lifting or overhead activities such as construction and painting are also susceptible. Pain can also develop due to a minor injury or occur with no apparent cause.

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