Doctors Specializing in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery

Charles A. Rockwood, Jr., M.D. (UT Medicine) Click for information

Michael A. Wirth, M.D. (UT Medicine) Click for information

Philip Jacobs, M.D. (UT Medicine) Click for information

All Orthopaedic Clinic Locations

MARC - UT Medicine Click for information

Audie L. Murphy Memorial Verterans Hospital (VA) Click for information

UH Trauma Clinic Click for information

Texas Diabetes Institute Click for information

UT Kids - Pediatric Orthopaedics (Robert B Green Campus - Downtown)   Click for information

UT Cancer Therapy and Research Center  Click for information

Ruthe B. Cowl Rehabilitation Center, Laredo, TX  Click for information

Areas of Specialization - Shoulder and Elbow Surgery

dr. rockwood in clinic

Common Shoulder Injuries

In 2006, approximately 7.5 million people went to the doctor's office for a shoulder problem, including shoulder and upper arm sprains and strains. More than 4.1 million of these visits were for rotator cuff problems.

Shoulder injuries are frequently caused by athletic activities that involve excessive, repetitive, overhead motion, such as swimming, tennis, pitching, and weightlifting. Injuries can also occur during everyday activities such washing walls, hanging curtains, and gardening.

Treatment Options

Clavicle Fractures

Most clavicle fractures can be treated without surgery. Surgery is necessary when there is a compound fracture that has broken through the skin or the bone is severely out of place. Surgery typically involves fixing of the fracture with plates and screws or rods inside the bone.

Proximal Humerus Fractures

Most fractures of the proximal humerus can be treated without surgery if the bone fragments are not shifted out of position (displaced). If the fragments are shifted out of position, surgery is usually required. Surgery usually involves fixation of the fracture fragments with plates, screws, or pins or it involves shoulder replacement.

Scapula Fractures

Most fractures of the scapula can be treated without surgery. Treatment involves immobilization with a sling or shoulder immobilizer, icing, and pain medications. The patient will be examined for additional injuries.

About 10% to 20% of scapula fractures need surgery. Fractures that need surgery usually have fracture fragments involving the shoulder joint or there is an additional fracture of the clavicle. Surgery involves fixation of the fracture fragments with plates and screws.

Shoulder Separations (Acromioclavicular Joint)

Treatment of shoulder separations is based on the severity of the injury as well as the direction of the separation and the physical requirements of the patient.

Less severe shoulder separations) are usually treated without surgery.

Severe separations in an upward direction or dislocations in the backward or downward directions often require surgery. Surgery involves repair of the ligaments.

Professional athletes and manual laborers are often treated with surgery, but the results are often unpredictable.

Shoulder Dislocations (Glenohumeral Joint)

The initial treatment of a shoulder dislocation involves reducing the dislocation ("putting it back in the socket"). This usually involves treatment in the emergency room.

The patient is given some mild sedation and pain medicine, usually through an intravenous line. Often, the physician will pull on the shoulder until the joint is realigned. Reduction is confirmed on an X-ray and the shoulder is then placed in a sling or special brace.

Additional treatment at a later date is based on the patient's age, evidence of persistent problems with the shoulder going out of place, and the underlying associated soft-tissue injury (either to the rotator cuff or the capsulolabral complex).

Patients who are 25 years of age or younger generally require surgery. Persistent instability (repeat dislocations) of the shoulder usually requires surgery. Surgery involves repair of the torn soft tissues.


 

 

 

 

 

Material and links provided by UTHSCSA are for informational purposes only. Health information provided is not meant to take the place of advice and care from your personal physician. For help with specific health problems you may be experiencing, please contact your physician who can properly evaluate your medical condition.

 

 

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