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Shoulder Tendinitis

The shoulder is a complex joint where several bones, muscles, and ligaments connect the upper extremity to the chest. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attach to the bones of the shoulder joint providing movement and stability to the shoulder. Inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons is called shoulder tendonitis.

The inflammation leads to thickening of the tendons, causing space reduction that may squeeze or compress the rotator cuff muscle between the acromion process (protuberance of the shoulder bone) and the humeral head of the arm. This compression results in pain, tenderness, swelling, warmth and redness in the shoulder.

Shoulder tendonitis may occur due to:

  • Bony growth of the acromion process
  • Inflammation of the bursa fluid (bursitis)
  • Degeneration of the tendons with age, especially after 40 years of age
  • Overuse injury of the tendons, which occurs more often in people in certain professions and in sports, such as tennis players, swimmers, construction workers, and painters, requiring repetitive shoulder movement
  • Trauma or injury

Diagnosis involves physical examination by your doctor. X-rays are ordered to eliminate other causes of pain such as arthritis, or to identify a bone spur, which may be causing inflammation. An MRI scan may be ordered to see if shoulder tendinitis is involved. Your doctor may inject an anesthetic drug into the space below the acromion to see if it provides relief from the pain. This confirms that the pain is due to shoulder tendinitis.

Treatment generally involves completely avoiding overhead activities for some time and to rest the affected tendons and muscles. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines are prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain. Some shoulder muscle strengthening exercises are also advised. If this does not provide relief, an injection of local anesthetic and corticosteroid (strong anti-inflammatory agent) may be administered in the bursa below the acromion. The condition usually takes a few months to recover completely. If conservative treatment measures do not resolve the problem, your doctor may recommend surgery. The goal of surgery is to create more space for the rotator cuff by removing the front (anterior) edge of the acromion bone. After surgery, your doctor prescribes physical exercises for the shoulder in order to regain functional mobility and strength in the shoulder muscle.

Advanced Orthopedics
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Houston Shoulder Specialists

Advanced Orthopedics and sports medicine has numerous Board Certified/Eligible physicians who are thoroughly educated in the latest treatment techniques both surgical and conservative. They are well versed in advances in shoulder treatments including arthroscopic rotator cuff and Bankart repairs, shoulder stabilization procedures, total shoulder replacement and reverse shoulder replacement.

Drs Elbaz and Brooks now perform Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections for the treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis, and biciptal tendonitis. PRP stimulates a more rapid healing of tendon, ligament, muscle and bone.

Contact us today to Schedule an Appointment or call us at 281-955-2650 to learn more about our Shoulder Treatment options.

Our Locations
  • 1Professional Building II At North Cypress Medical Center
  • 2North Cypress Professional Building At Lakewood Crossing
  • 3North Cypress Professional Building At Towne Lake
  • 4Advanced Orthopaedics Memorial

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