Why Does My Shoulder Hurt?

An Injury or disease process (i.e. inflammation) that damages the cartilage may shoulder replacementcause arthritis. A small cartilage injury could eventually grow and lead to cartilage loss, degenerative joint disease, and troublesome neck and shoulder pain. A variety of injuries can also damage your cartilage or cause rotator cuff pain, including trauma (dislocation), infection and inflammation. A traumatic injury can cause an isolated defect, while continuous overuse can cause widespread damage to both sides of the joint and result in shoulder surgery.

Typically, as the “wear and tear” on the shoulder joint progresses, bone spurs (osteophytes) can form on top of the bones. These bone spurs can cause pain when the shoulder moves and can limit the motion of the joint. With time, the spurs become larger, the cartilage starts to wear away and the shoulder joint becomes stiff. In the shoulder, this condition is called Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD).

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage in your joint and is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. OA can be caused by aging joints, injury, obesity, weightlifting, and/or high impact sports. As a degenerative joint disease that causes the cartilage in your joints to soften and break down, your joints will slowly become stiff and painful. When that layer of cartilage is damaged or worn away, your bones grind against one another causing lesions and shoulder pain that hurts.  It may even keep you up at night.

Osteoarthritis usually occurs in people over 50 years old, however, it’s possible for it to occur in younger people as well.

Osteonecrosis (AVN)

Osteonecrosis (AVN)

shoulder replacement surgeryThis condition is translated as “bone death” (osteo=bone, necrosis=death). Also known as avascular necrosis or AVN (avascular = loss of blood supply). Osteonecrosis is caused by lack of blood supply to the bone, resulting in the deterioration of bone tissue and the collapse of the bone. It can be triggered by a variety of factors including trauma, alcohol abuse, genetic abnormalities, pregnancy, systemic disease or corticosteroids use from receiving medical treatment (e.g., cancer treatments and organ transplantation). However, in approximately 25% of patients the cause is still unknown.

Traumatic Lesions

Traumatic Lesions

The most common type of traumatic injury is known as a “Hillsachs Lesion.” This most often occurs when you dislocate your shoulder. A shoulder dislocation causes the head of the shoulder to chip off pieces of bone and can even break a piece of bone from the front edge of the glenoid. The chipping can result in a lesion on the back of the head and it usually causes a tear of the labrum (soft tissue bumper) on the front edge of the glenoid. When 30% or more of the head is chipped off, the Hillsachs lesion is sufficiently large enough to engage or catch on the front of the glenoid, causing discomfort.

While not all Hillsachs lesions are painful, this catching can result in a sore shoulder and severely limit your motion. To stop this from happening again, the surgeon needs to fill the defect on the back of the head to keep it from catching. This can be accomplished by placing a HemiCAP® implant into the defect, restoring the shape of the humeral head and allowing it to articulate again without catching.

Why Does My Wrist Hurt?

Wrist pain is becoming progressively more common.  Your wrist is where your arm and hand bones connect and is one of the most mobile joints in the human body. The more mobile a joint is, the more unstable it becomes. Everyday wear and tear, and overuse of the wrist joint can result in painful symptoms as well as these other causes:

  • Sprains/Fractures/Injury
  • Sports Injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Repetitive Stress
  • Accidental Falls
  • Gout
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Dislocations

Many different factors can lead to wrist pain, making it difficult to narrow down the exact cause. However, when the pain is the result of arthritis or loss of cartilage, then it might be appropriate injury for surgical intervention. Receiving an accurate diagnosis from a doctor or preferably a Hand Specialist, is essential for proper treatment.

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  • Quick Facts

    • The shoulder is one of the most commonly injured joints among athletes
    • The Shoulder Joint is more mobile making it less stable and more prone to injury
    • About 100,000 people in the US get Shoulder Replacements each year
    • The factors leading to the development and progression of OA (Osteoarthritis) include aging, obesity, joint injuries, and a family history of arthritis (genetics). Although there is no cure, early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in slowing or preventing more damage to your joints.
    • Shoulder Dislocation is commonly caused by trauma.
    • Seizures can cause damage to your shoulder joint.