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Rotator cuff

Rotator cuff is a group of muscles that attach via tendons to the shoulder bone. They act to stabilise and help rotation. Tearing of these tendons is called a rotator cuff tear and causes functional loss and pain. Rotator cuff tears are initially managed with rest, analgesia, physiotherapy and injections. Tears that don’t respond to this may be surgically repaired.


Shoulder instability results from injury or laxity of the structures that keep the shoulder joint in place. Shoulders that are loose due to laxisty of the soft tissues are generally best treated with physiotherapy, whereas shoulders that have a specific problem that causes instability may be best treated with surgery.



Shoulder impingement is caused by inflammation of the tendons and bursa in the shoulder joint. Common causes are motor vehicle accidents, trauma and sports such as tennis, baseball, swimming and weightlifting. It is treated with rest, physiotherapy, injections and sometimes surgery.



Painful arthritis of the shoulder joint that does not respond to non-operative treatment may require surgery. The goal of joint replacement surgery for arthritis is a functional pain-free joint. In the shoulder an anatomic replacement can be used if the rotator cuff is intact, whereas a reverse shoulder replacement must be used if the rotator cuff is damaged.


Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, results from inflammation of the shoulder which causes pain and loss of motion. Initial treatment is non-operative and involves physiotherapy and injections.

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