Shoulder Conditions

Shoulder Conditions Treated At Sports Med London

Whatever the sport your play, your shoulders are going to come into it sooner or later. The shoulder’s an important ball and socket joint, where the ball of the upper arm bone sits in the glenoid cavity. The shallow glenoid allows the joint a wide range of movement, while also making it potentially unstable.  

Even though the joint’s stabilised by ligaments, muscles, and a cartilage rim, a sports injury can make the ball slip out of place, causing pain and limiting movement.  

Sports Med London uses surgical and non-surgical methods to treat a range of shoulder conditions. 

Frozen Shoulder 

One of the conditions we treat is known popularly as frozen shoulder (the correct medical terms are adhesive capsulitis or capsular contracture). The condition, which is marked by three phases, sees the ligaments and shoulder lining (the capsule), which is usually elastic, loose, and relatively thin, become inflamed, contracted, and thickened. 

The first phase is the freezing phase, which is marked by increasingly severe pain. The second phase is the frozen stage, during which movement is severely restricted. The third phase is the thawing phase, which sees movement gradually restored. 

Frozen shoulder can develop after a sports injury such as a torn tendon or a fracture, but it can be associated with diabetes, thyroid disease, and other conditions too. The condition can also develop without an obvious cause in people in the 50s.  

Although frozen shoulder can resolve itself in 2 to 4 years, it can be treated surgically and non-surgically. The non-surgical route includes physiotherapy, medication, and injections. Surgical methods include manipulation under anaesthetic and arthroscopic keyhole surgery. 


Rotator Cuff Tears 

The group of four tendons that lift and turn the ball of the upper arm bone (the humeral head), and that keep the ball in the socket, are known as the rotator cuff. The tendons pass under a section of the shoulder blade, and they can be injured easily. 

A sports injury such as a wrenching injury or a fall can tear one or more of the tendons in the rotator cuff, but it can also happen as part of the aging process. A partial tear can cause pain, while full thickness tears can cause pain, weakness, and difficulty or the inability to use your arm. 

Rotator cuff tears, which may heal or worsen over time, can be treated surgically and non-surgically. Non-surgical methods include initial cortisone injections followed by physiotherapy. Traumatic and degenerate rotator cuff tears should be treated surgically, which can include a combination of bone anchors and special stitches, and, occasionally, reconstruction of tendons.