Shoulder Injury From Sports? Get Advice & More.

Shoulder injuries from sports, including shoulder dislocations, SLAP tears and rotator cuff tears, are some of the most common injuries in sports medicine. In fact, sports medicine orthopedic surgeons perform more sports-related shoulder surgeries than surgeries for any other body part except the knee.

More Resources to Get Better

From the Blog

5 signs your shoulder injury could be serious

How can an athlete or active person know if his or her shoulder injury is serious? Here are some signs and symptoms that could represent a serious shoulder injury.

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Arthroscopic shoulder surgeries are some of the most common surgeries in orthopedics. This article offers an explanation of these procedures.

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Shoulder surgery: Tips for the day of and the day after surgery

While restrictions and instructions vary based on the type of surgery, there are some general ideas that are at least worth considering for a patient undergoing shoulder surgery.

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The Serious Injury Checklist

Do you know the one question you should ask yourself to know if you should see a doctor?

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The Sports and Exercise Injury Primer

This series explains the top 20 injuries suffered by athletes and active people.

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Ask Dr. Geier: Shoulder Injuries

How to get rid of pain, anxiety and frustration from your shoulder injury.

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That’s Gotta Hurt

The Injuries That Changed Sports Forever

Through the stories of a dozen athletes whose injuries and recovery advanced the field (including Joan Benoit, Michael Jordan, Brandi Chastain, and Tommy John), Dr. Geier explains how sports medicine makes sports safer for the pros, amateurs, student-athletes, and weekend warriors alike.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Shoulder Injuries

+Could I have a serious injury?

-Could I have a serious injury?

Whether you suffer a traumatic injury in sports or exercise or your pain developed over a period of time, there are several signs and symptoms that could suggest your shoulder pain could represent a serious shoulder injury. These include difficulty lifting the arm, a clicking or popping sensation deep in the shoulder, and pain reaching across your body. Also your shoulder may have popped out of place, or you might have an obvious deformity around the shoulder.
+What are the common injuries?

-What are the common injuries?

Some of the common traumatic injuries of the shoulder include shoulder dislocations, AC joint injuries (shoulder separations), labral/SLAP tears, sternoclavicular (SC) dislocations and clavicle fractures. The common overuse shoulder injuries include rotator cuff tears, shoulder impingement, and adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder).
+Should I go to a doctor or ER?

-Should I go to a doctor or ER?

Most orthopedic injuries, especially those that occur in sports and exercise, that require urgent treatment in an emergency room result from a traumatic event. These are some of the signs and symptoms that suggest you might go to an emergency department for your injury: the bone is crooked or out of place, the injured area is very swollen, or the bone is poking through the skin. You might also have bleeding that won’t stop, have signs of a nerve injury, or your pain is unbearable. If you cannot do what you want to do as well as you want to do it, it can always be a good idea to see your doctor or an orthopedic surgeon.
+Do I need x-rays or an MRI?

-Do I need x-rays or an MRI?

X-rays only show bones, while MRIs show soft-tissue structures like muscles, tendons and ligaments. Many people – and some doctors – believe that a shoulder injury is automatically a ligament, tendon or labral tear, which wouldn’t show up on an x-ray. X-rays can be important, though, to demonstrate arthritis, fractures and other causes of shoulder pain.