Category : Shoulder

Broken Bone Shoulder Shoulder Fracture

3 Types of Shoulder Fractures

A shoulder fracture is another word for a broken shoulder. The shoulder is a complex joint that connects the arm to the body. It has many different parts, including the humerus (upper arm bone), the scapula (shoulder blade bone) and the clavicle (collarbone). The upper end of the humerus has a ball-like shape that connects with the socket of the scapula, called the glenoid, creating the “ball and socket”.

Here are three different types of shoulder fractures:

  • Clavicle Fracture: A broken collarbone is the most common type shoulder fracture. It usually results from a fall.
  • Proximal Humerus Fracture: This is a fracture of the upper part of the arm. Sometimes, proximal humerus fractures just involve cracks in the bone rather than the bone moving far out of its position. This type of broken bone is more common in people 65 years of age or older.
  • Scapula Fractures: A fracture of the scapula bone is rare. It usually results from a traumatic event such as a car accident or a long fall.
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Hand Muscles Rotator Cuff Shoulder

Anatomy 101: The Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. These muscles and tendons provide stability in the shoulder, attaching around the head of the humerus bone, encircling it like a cuff. These four muscles include:

  • Infraspinatous: This muscle is positioned more behind the shoulder joint. It helps to externally rotate the arm, for example, when you are throwing a ball.
  • Supraspinatous: This muscle forms the upper border of the rotator cuff. It helps you bring your arm away from your body.
  • Subscapularis: This is the only rotator cuff muscle that is actually in front of the shoulder. It helps rotate the arm toward the body, such as when you touch your stomach.
  • Teres Minor: This muscle primarily helps externally rotate the shoulder, but it also helps pull the arm into the body.
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Brachial Plexus Nerves Shoulder

Ask a Doctor: Brachial Plexus Injuries

Hand surgeon Ryan Zimmerman, MD answers your questions about brachial plexus injuries.


What is the brachial plexus? 

The brachial plexus is a complicated web of nerves located near the base of your neck and top of your shoulder.  Typically, five nerves from the spinal cord at your neck weave together and eventually form the nerves for your shoulder, arm and hand.

How do brachial plexus injuries happen?

Brachial plexus injuries usually happen due to a stretching injury across the nerves.  Most of the time, the nerves get stretched but stay connected.  In severe cases, the nerves can tear. There are a few common ways for brachial plexus injuries to happen.  In newborns, the injury can occur during birth, This is more likely if the baby gets stuck during delivery.  During sports, tackles or collisions can cause a stretch injury.  This is commonly referred to as a “stinger” or “burner.”  In car or motorcycle accidents, the brachial plexus can be stretched by the force of the impact.

What are the symptoms of a brachial plexus injury?

Each injury is unique, and the symptoms are due to the exact nerves that get stretched and how badly they get stretched.  Many patients with brachial plexus injuries describe “electrical” or shooting pains that can run all the way down to the hand.  Numbness and weakness are also common.  The numbness can range from a slight funny feeling to total numbness. Weakness can range from mild loss of strength to total inability to move the shoulder, elbow, or hand.

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Brachial Plexus Hand Nerves Shoulder

What is a Brachial Plexus Injury?

The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that start in the spinal cord in the neck and travel down the arm. These nerves control the muscles of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, as well as provide feeling in the arm. If you have a brachial plexus injury, it means you have damaged a nerve.

Nerve injuries can be very serious, as they can stop signals to and from the brain. Nerves can be damaged by stretching, pressure or cutting. Stretching can occur when the head and neck are forced away from the shoulder, such as during a motorcycle or car accident. Pressure could occur if the brachial plexus is crushed, which can happen during a fracture or dislocation. You will know if you have a nerve injury, as opposed to just a broken bone or other injury, if you’ve lost feeling in your arm.

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Anatomy Bones Shoulder

Anatomy 101: Shoulder Bones

There are five major bones in the shoulder. The shoulder bones can easily be affected by falls or accidents, in addition to arthritis. Here is an overview of the shoulder bones:

  1. Scapula: Another name for this bone is the shoulder blade. There are 17 muscles that attach to the scapula! Much of your shoulder motion is between the scapula and the chest. The scapula is part of the “shoulder girdle” which also includes muscle and ligament that allow your shoulder to move.
  2. Clavicle: This bone is also referred to as the collar bone. The clavicle connects the arm to the chest. It has joints on both ends, which can become arthritic.
  3. Acromion: This bone is a flat projection of the scapula that gives the shoulder its square shape.
  4. Coracoid Process: This bone is also a projection of the scapula. It points outward toward the front of the body. This bone is important because its muscles and ligaments help support the clavicle, shoulder joint and humerus.
  5. Glenoid Cavity: This is the socket portion of the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder. Any abnormalities in the cavity can cause joint instability, which can lead to a condition called “frozen shoulder.”

Learn more about the shoulder bones and the anatomy of the upper extremity (including the hand, wrist, arm and shoulder) at www.HandCare.org/hand-arm-anatomy.

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Bicep Tendon Tear Elbow Shoulder Tendons

A Detailed Guide About Bicep Tendon Tears

Guest post from BicepTendonTear.com

A bicep tendon is a band of fibrous tissues which has the property of being tough as well as flexible. It can withstand tension due to its flexibility. A bicep tendon tear can occur at two places, either at the elbow or at the shoulder. Bicep tear occurring at the shoulder is more common. 90% of the tears happen at the shoulder. Main reasons being over-head weight lifting, not warming up properly before any heavy physical activity, smoking too much, and age. Use of steroids is harmful as well; they lead to various disorders such as deficiency in sperm count, impotency and infertility. Moreover, they may lead to dysplasia of collagen fibrils, which can decrease the tensile strength of tendon, thus causing the bicep tendon to tear. These tears weaken your arm to an extent that 30% of your flexural strength and 40% of your supination strength decreases.

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Hand Rotator Cuff Shoulder Shoulder Pain

5 Potential Causes of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can be caused by a wide variety of issues. This is because the shoulder is comprised of several key structures, including tendons, cartilage and bone. The shoulder itself is a ball-and-socket joint, which allows a wide range of movement.

Shoulder pain can range from pain simply with moving the shoulder to the inability to lift the arm overhead or feeling weak. Here are five potential causes of such shoulder pain:

  1. Shoulder Arthritis: This can be caused by everyday wear and tear.
  2. Frozen Shoulder: If you have frozen shoulder, the inner lining of your shoulder has become inflamed and tight, preventing you from having full motion and also causing pain.
  3. Shoulder Dislocation: A dislocation is when the ball slides out of the socket. This is most commonly caused by an athletic injury or fall.
  4.  Shoulder Fractures: A shoulder fracture is another word for a broken shoulder. It can be a break of the ball, socket or scapula.
  5. Rotator Cuff Injuries: The rotator cuff is where the four tendons that encompass the ball of the shoulder meet. Injuries to the rotator cuff can cause shoulder pain.
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Anatomy Brachial Plexus Nerves Shoulder

Anatomy 101: Brachial Plexus

brachial-plexus

The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that stem from the spinal cord in the neck and travel all the way down the arm. These nerves control the muscles of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. They also provide feeling in the arm.

It starts with the five “roots” at the neck. The second level is called “trunks,” which continue toward the shoulder then divide into the third layer of two nerves called the anterior division and the posterior division. The nerves in the fourth layer are called “cords,” and the final layer is comprised of the “branches” that feed the shoulder and arm. See the image below for details.

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