Blog Archive

What’s Causing Your Shoulder Pain? Nov 1st, 2019

Shoulder pain can be a difficult and painful experience. Most of us don’t think about our shoulders when they’re functioning well. A normal shoulder should have a smooth, easy range of motion. When it doesn’t work this way, the results can be very painful. Although shoulder pain can be intense,...

Most Common Sports Injuries Oct 1st, 2019

It’s great to be active. Regular exercise helps strengthen your heart, lower your risk of chronic ailments such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, control your weight, and boost your mood.  Unfortunately, however, athletic endeavors and physical activity can sometimes lead to sports injuries. Here at the Arizona Center...

Understanding Basal Joint Arthritis (And What You Can Do About It) Sep 1st, 2019

Osteoarthritis can cause debilitating pain and stiffness wherever it strikes. When you experience these symptoms in your thumb, it’s called basal joint arthritis. The condition, also called thumb arthritis, is just as common as knee arthritis and affects about 80% of women by age 80, according to the Arthritis Foundation.  ...

What Makes Women More Susceptible to Trigger Finger? Aug 1st, 2019

Trigger finger is a condition where one of your fingers becomes locked in a bent-inward position. This happens because inflammation has narrowed the space within the sheath that surrounds the tendon of your affected finger.  Here at Arizona Center for Hand to Shoulder Surgery, our experienced teams in Phoenix and...

Myths and Facts About Steroid Injections Jul 8th, 2019

Steroid injections are a synthetic form of cortisol — an important hormone in your body that helps to reduce inflammation — and are used to treat a number of inflammatory conditions, including arthritis and tendonitis. Doctors use steroid shots as a nonoperative pain relief option for patients who may not...

At What Point Does Ulnar Sided Wrist Pain Require Surgery (and Do I Have Less Invasive Options)? Jun 1st, 2019

Finding relief from ulnar sided wrist pain can be frustrating. This pain occurs on the pinkie side of your wrist — the ulna is the arm bone that meets your wrist on this side of your hand. Ulnar pain is associated with a wide range of causes. To further complicate...

Are Steroid Injections a Good Option for Treating My Arthritis? May 6th, 2019

Corticosteroids, or steroids for short, are man-made drugs that are similar to cortisol, a hormone naturally produced by the body. Injectable steroids usually contain a local anesthetic that helps numb the area near the injection site and cortisone to reduce inflammation. They are used to treat arthritis-related swelling in people...

If You Have Intense Elbow Pain, It Could Be Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Apr 9th, 2019

No, cubital tunnel syndrome isn’t an autocorrect mistake. Although carpal tunnel syndrome is better known, cubital tunnel syndrome, too, can cause bothersome symptoms in your arms and hands. It’s less commonly diagnosed than carpal tunnel, but research shows that it’s also under-diagnosed, partly because a good number of people fail...

Understanding When Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Is Needed Mar 1st, 2019

Sometimes an injury is so severe that you know you need surgery right away. If your finger or arm is severed in an accident, for instance, you hope that your doctor can reattach it and repair it well enough so that you can use it normally again. But other conditions...

Common Peripheral Nerve Conditions That Could Benefit From Surgery Feb 4th, 2019

Have you ever been talking to someone on the phone but all you could hear was static and an occasional word that broke through? This type of miscommunication is kind of what happens when you have a peripheral nerve condition. The nerves in your body try to communicate with your...

3 Things You May Not Know About Microsurgery Jan 14th, 2019

Suffering an accident or enduring a condition that maims your body or compromises function takes a toll on you physically, of course, but emotionally, too. Knowing that you’ve lost a digit or limb, have limited mobility, or are left with a disfiguring scar can make it hard to believe your...

When Does a Ganglion Cyst Require Medical Intervention? Dec 11th, 2018

Finding a lump on your hand can be a bit alarming, but more than likely it’s a ganglion cyst. These noncancerous growths are common, and they’re filled with the jellylike fluid that lubricates your joints and tendons. While ganglion cysts are harmless, they can cause pain or affect mobility in...

Recognize the Symptoms of Trigger Finger Nov 15th, 2018

There’s a good chance that work or hobbies contribute to an orthopedic condition called trigger finger. However, it doesn’t favor gun enthusiasts. The “trigger” refers to the pop that occurs when you straighten a bent finger that seems stuck in the curled position. Stemming from tendon inflammation, trigger finger can...

How to Prepare for Carpal Tunnel Surgery Oct 15th, 2018

Stemming from a compressed nerve that navigates a tissue passage through the wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) typically results from repeated motion over extended periods of time, such as performing a work task or playing an instrument. There’s often not a single identifiable cause, but rather a combination of risk...

5 Tips for Returning to Sports After a Shoulder Injury Sep 25th, 2018

Shoulder injuries include sprains, strains, and fractures to any of the components that make up your shoulder, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments, as well as your collarbone, shoulder blade, and upper arm bone. If any of these parts are unstable, weak, torn, or dislocated, your shoulder is impacted. About 7.5...

Dealing with Chronic Shoulder Instability and Dislocation Sep 12th, 2017

Shoulder injuries can be quite problematic and are debilitating, to say the least. Any shoulder injury can force you to alter your day to day life. But, it’s chronic conditions that may be the most frustrating. Ongoing shoulder instability can mean that you’re dealing with dislocated shoulders more often than...

What You Need to Know About Rotator Cuff Injuries Aug 21st, 2017

We don’t think about the stress we put on our bodies until something goes wrong. All of us, at some point, will face some level of nagging pain or even injury based on our lifestyles. Granted, there is a difference between a slight ache in the morning and a major...

Wrong Diagnosis Still a Big Problem for Both Google and Doctors Oct 14th, 2016

A Second Opinion Improves the Odds for a Correct Diagnosis As reported recently on Medscape:“In a competition of diagnostic accuracy between humans and machines, physicians handily beat algorithms designed to diagnose conditions based on vignettes of patient history. Specifically, physicians accurately identified the diagnosis in clinical vignettes of patient health histories...

Arthroscopic Trans-Osseous Tension Band Rotator Cuff Repair Sep 30th, 2016

Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair tends to create the impression with patients, physicians, and the general public that it is a uniform technique that is consistently taught and performed the same way all over the world. This simply isn’t true, and one known factor that contributes to failed rotator cuff repairs is surgical...

Update 2016: Reinforcement Grafting versus Superior Capsule Reconstruction Sep 16th, 2016

Arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction has become a valuable addition to our arsenal as patients with complex shoulder problems continue to value and seek out the best possible treatment options regardless of distance. The Evolution of Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair: from Reinforcement Grafting to Superior Capsule Reconstruction  Click here to watch...

Shoulder Recovery Miracle Mar 13th, 2016

One of hardest things for patients to accept and believe is the extremely long time it takes for proper healing and rehabilitation after shoulder surgery. The Importance of Time in Healing After Surgery When we emphasize the importance of allowing stress free healing of repaired tissue for at least the...

Arthroscopic Glenoid Bone Grafting for Unstable Shoulder Arthroscopy Nov 13th, 2015

Video Links Arthroscopic Glenoid Bone Graft + Unstable Shoulder Bone Loss Arthroscopic Posterior Glenoid Bone Graft Unstable Shoulder Glenoid Bone Grafting - Glenoid Bone Loss Arthroscopic Glenoid with Bone Graft for Shoulder Dislocation   FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GLENOID BONE LOSS & GLENOID BONE GRAFTS  Question: I HAVE AN UNSTABLE SHOULDER; HOW DO...

Why Patients Should Pay Doctors Directly Nov 10th, 2015

If you want to find the very best doctor for your shoulder problem (or any medical problem for that matter) you won’t find much helpful information by calling your insurance company or even your regular doctor in most instances.  Why?  Well, it’s the same reason why no real problems are...

Arthroscopic Superior Capsule Reconstruction Failed Rotator Cuff Repairs Feb 7th, 2015

Failed rotator cuff repairs present a unique and frustrating problem for both patients and surgeons. An in depth review of the rotator cuff and massive rotator cuff tears is available here. Click here to watch a video about Superior Capsule Reconstruction. More on Superior Capsule Reconstruction Patients with large, massive and previously...

Need Surgery? Hunt for a Shoulder Specialist Oct 20th, 2014

A recent article in Reader’s Digest, http://www.rd.com/slideshows/11-secrets-of-great-doctors/?trkid=channel#slideshow=slide9, highlights the importance of finding the right specialist to give yourself the best chance at an excellent outcome.Need surgery?Hunt for the specialist’s specialist. You don’t just want a doctor who is comfortable with performing a particular surgery as part of a wide repertoire; you...

The Correct Diagnosis is Paramount-Get a Second, Third, or Fourth Opinion if Needed Oct 20th, 2014

A recent article highlights the fact that athletes at the highest level often seek multiple evaluations and opinions prior to determining the best course of treatment. Seeking a second opinion may be a great idea for everyone. While seeking out an experienced shoulder specialist for a shoulder problem is a good start, experience, ability,...

A Shoulder Specialist Starts Treatment with Accurate Diagnosis Oct 20th, 2014

An accurate diagnosis identifying the cause of your shoulder pain should be the shoulder specialist first priority. Successful treatment of shoulder pain really depends on identifying theshoulder specialist surgery cause of your shoulder pain-often there are several causes, not just one. A shoulder specialist can not only help provide an...

Shoulder Dislocation – Surgery a Better Option? Oct 20th, 2014

A recent article in the Washington Post highlights the difficult decision making process Paul Casey (professional golfer) faced to determine the best course of treatment after he dislocated his shoulder recently. Although there are many factors to consider in determining the best course of treatment following an initial shoulder dislocation,...

The Right Decision for Shoulder Surgery Oct 20th, 2014

Shoulder pain surgery should not be taken lightly because the shoulder is the most complex joint in the body. Rather than just one joint the entire set of muscles, nerves, and joints involved in moving our upper extremities is called the shoulder complex.Rotator Cuff Surgery TypesAcromioplastyShoulder pain surgery may involve...

Strategies for Optimal Shoulder Function Oct 20th, 2014

Shoulder health is a complex topic and pain around the shoulder girdle can come from multiple sources. A recent post by Cressey Performance speaks to the complex challenge of keeping shoulders healthy for the professional athlete, the weekend athlete, and for everyone in general. The shoulder is the most mobile joint in...

Find the Correct Shoulder Injury Diagnosis Oct 20th, 2014

Shoulder pain – This can be difficult at all levels including professional athletes- highlighted with the recent episode involving professional pitcher Stephen Strasburg. For overhead sports like baseball, the margin of error can be very small and a benign appearing shoulder pain can quickly become a career ending injury.Nerves are ultimately responsible...

Improved Healing Rates for Challenging Rotator Cuff Tears Available Now Oct 20th, 2014

As highlighted in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Maria Sharapova prevailed at the 2012 French Open Tennis Tournament for her first French Open Title and a Career Grand Slam. Her performance is even more remarkable when we learn that just a few years ago she wasn’t even...

Ask for a Specialist with a Lot of Experience Oct 20th, 2014

Finding a shoulder specialistHundreds of scientific studies have proven that patients get better results from a shoulder specialist who do a LOT of a particular surgery, like shoulders, and that’s what we do at Arizona Center for Hand to Shoulder Surgery; hundreds per year! Despite the advancements in options available to the...

GLENOID DYSPLASIA: A Not So Rare Cause of Pain Oct 20th, 2014

Glenoid Dysplasia refers to an abnormality in the development of the glenoid portion of the scapula (the socket bone of the shoulder joint). This can range from a mild abnormality in development of the bony glenoid to a very severe abnormality. As the process is thought to occur at some...

Unstable Shoulder Current Concepts Oct 20th, 2014

#1: Unstable shoulder explained.#2: Our goal is to give an up to date definition an understanding of what is unstable shoulder and hopefully provide some anatomic correlates to contributors of shoulder instability. We will also review diagnostic keys we utilized in preparing for effective surgical repair. And of course will...

Hidden and Missed Rotator Cuff Tear: Subscapularis Oct 20th, 2014

Hidden and missed shoulder pathology can be one reason for failed shoulder surgery. The supraspinatus is the most commonly torn portion of the rotator cuff so other parts of the rotator cuff may not receive the required scrutiny. A recent study found subscapularis tears to be present in 37% of rotator cuff...

The Diagnosis Can be Elusive for Dislocated Shoulder Oct 20th, 2014

Shoulder Dislocation is extremely common-roughly half of all major joint dislocations seen in the Hospital Emergency Room are shoulder dislocations. An unstable shoulder can result from a shoulder dislocation or a shoulder subluxation, when the ball almost slides out of the socket. So an unstable shoulder is a more broad term including both...

Skill Matters: The Surgeon IS The Method Oct 20th, 2014

A landmark study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine (http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMsa1300625)  raises some excellent points and provides patients looking for the best possible outcomes, more evidence that surgeon skill is directly correlated with outcomes.  An excellent article expounding on some of the implications of this study, including an...

Second Opinion: Long Distance Options for Shoulder Solutions Oct 20th, 2014

A second opinion even if it is the third, fourth or fifth opinion can be the best option to find the correct diagnosis and solution to your failed shoulder surgery. Patients are increasingly traveling across the country and around the world to seek out the best solutions for their shoulder. An...

Complex Repair: Case Report #1 Oct 20th, 2014

Many of our patients ask us for a video of their surgery and with this article we are starting a case series approach where the video of a particular patient’s surgery will be posted along with some highlights of the case to hopefully serve an educational purpose. This case report...

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair – Graft Reinforcement Oct 20th, 2014

Dr. Ernest Amory Codman, widely considered the father of evidence-based medicine, first championed rotator cuff repair in the early 20th century. He is considered to have performed the first reported rotator cuff repair in the English literature in 1909 after observing treatment for rotator cuff disease and studying it in detail as a medical student in...

Injuries-Broken Shoulder Bones Oct 20th, 2014

An excellent recent article nicely reviews current thinking for collarbone (clavicle) fractures. Treatment of many shoulder girdle fractures (broken bones) has followed a cyclical or pendulum trajectory in thinking every decade. Click here to watch a video about Broken Collar Bone Nerve Pain. More recently with the advent of many new developments for...

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Professional Team Doctors No Guarantee Of Top Medical Care Oct 20th, 2014

There is a common misperception among sports fans and the public that the very best physicians are providing the medical care for their favorite sports teams. An investigative article by the New York Times shed some light on exactly how a medical group “earns” the right to cover a sports team: THEY...

Capsule Tear Oct 20th, 2014

There can be many causes for an unstable shoulder as outlined in this recent article: NEW YORK (AP) — New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana has had shoulder surgery for the second time in 31 months.unstable shoulder The Mets said the 34-year-old left-hander was operated on Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Mets medical...

Find a Specialist that is an Elite Athlete in Surgery Oct 20th, 2014

Is your shoulder specialist an athlete?The wide range of choices available to a shoulder specialist to treat any single problem can be mind-boggling. While there has never been a better time to be a shoulder specialist because of the great number of options available to help our patients, offering the best...

Failed Rotator Cuff Surgery Oct 20th, 2014

Failed rotator cuff surgery or a re-injury can be a very frustrating and complex issue for both the surgeon and more importantly the patient. Part of the problem in getting a better handle on the issue is that we don’t have a uniformly accepted set of standards to determine success...

Trust but Verify: Take the Time to Find the Best Doctor for You Personally Oct 19th, 2014

Trust Your Doctor? Choosing a doctor to help you navigate the increasingly complex world of health care can be incredibly difficult and unfortunately can you trust your doctorsometimes hazardous to your health. We all imagine physicians in general to be like Marcus Welby and deserving of our trust, but are also increasingly...

Biceps Tendon Pain: A Popular Diagnosis Loaded with Decades of Controversy Oct 19th, 2014

Biceps tendon pain treatment Biceps tendon pain, particularly the long head of the biceps at the shoulder, is a very popular diagnosis these days. This diagnosis is also followed by an increasingly common recommendation to perform a surgical procedure called a biceps tenodesis, where the portion of the biceps tendon...

Biologic Reverse Total Replacement: Improving Results by Honoring Original Principles. Oct 19th, 2014

Shoulders are the third most commonly replaced joints in the United States, and are the fastest growing joint replacement, in part due to the US approval of the Reverse Total Shoulder in 2004. Depuy and Tornier share nearly half of the global shoulder repair market. This rapid rate of growth...

Top Indiana Shoulder Surgeons Oct 7th, 2014

While many orthopedic surgeons perform shoulder surgery, only a few orthopedic surgeons perform only shoulder surgery. Many consider the shoulder to be the most complicated joint in the body, and shoulder surgery has had revolutionary advances in the last few years. Along with the development of arthroscopic (small incision using fiber optic...

Shoulder Separation is a Common Injury Oct 7th, 2014

So, what exactly is an AC separated shoulder? Shoulder Separation also referred to as AC (acromioclavicular) dislocation or AC separation is a very common injury typically as a result of a direct force on the top of the acromion (shoulder blade) or fall on an outstretched hand. To better understand this injury,...

Shoulder Sports Injuries – A Long Road Home. Oct 7th, 2014

Shoulders are complex. So shoulder sports injuries in elite athletes are also notoriously difficult to treat, whether due to trauma or overuse. Along with an article in Slate Magazine (http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2004/05/labrum_it_nearly_killed_him.html ) that outlined the unpredictable and historically poor results of shoulder surgery for professional baseball players, a recent article in the...

SPUR ACROMIOPLASTY FOR IMPINGEMENT SYNDROME-GET A SECOND OPINION Oct 7th, 2014

When discussing treatment options with your surgeon, if the primary working diagnosis is impingement syndrome or you have been told you have a spur that needs to be removed in your shoulder, we would highly suggest you consider a second opinion before undertaking any invasive treatment. Impingement syndrome first became a dominant...

Playing Can Worsen Damaged Shoulder Oct 7th, 2014

A recent article in the Seattle Times highlights some relatively common but little talked about issues in sports. The first issue is the relationship of shoulder arthritis to a shoulder dislocation or instability. As the most mobile joint in humans, the shoulder is also the most commonly dislocated and unstable joint....

Osteoporosis and Rotator Cuff Tear Oct 7th, 2014

Osteoporosis and loss of bone mineral density (BMD) are well known to increase the risk of fractures, but reduced BMD and osteoporosis also play a role in rotator cuff tears. This study from the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jbmr.5650100817/abstract) concluded: … a rotator cuff rupture results in permanently reduced BMD...

Salvage Surgery-Saving a Hopeless Situation Because Docs, Nurses May Overestimate Quality of Their C Oct 7th, 2014

A recent article from Reuters Health, http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-rt-us-care-qualitybre88313b-20120904,0,1653268.story, highlights one of the problems facing health care today. It can be very difficult to find the best physician for you personally or to judge the quality of care you are receiving. Making things worse, when the patient is in pain or the medical...

Shoulder Surgery Complications: An Ounce of Prevention Oct 7th, 2014

Predicting the Likelihood of Shoulder Surgery Complications Shoulder surgery complications occur all too commonly. The choices we make as patients both before and after surgery can play a significant role in predicting the likelihood of a complication after shoulder surgery. A common saying in shoulder surgery is, “The surgeon is the...

Salvage Surgery-Saving a Hopeless Situation Oct 7th, 2014

A recent article from Reuters Health, http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-rt-us-care-qualitybre88313b-20120904,0,1653268.story, highlights one of the problems facing health care today.  It can be  very difficult to find the best physician for you personally or to judge the quality of care you are receiving.   Making things worse, when the patient is in pain or the medical situation...