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The shoulder is the most dynamic joint in the body. Its flexibility allows the arm to move in a wide range of motion while maintaining enough strength to lift, pull, and push objects. However, the same mechanisms that provide such capabilities often make the shoulder the most unstable joint at the same time. The anatomy of the primary joint resembles a golf ball sitting on top of a tee, and when the shoulder moves, the ball spins frictionlessly on top of the tee (the socket). To keep the ball in place, many ligaments, muscles, and tendons interact. When one of these components is injured it can cause significant pain. Shoulder pain is quite common, accounting for about a third of all visits to the orthopedist's office. At Walnut Creek Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, we have a broad range of experience and training in the diagnosis and treatment of all conditions affecting the shoulder. Some of the more common injuries/conditions we treat include:


  • Subacromial Impingement Syndrome

  • Reconstruction and Shoulder Joint Replacement

  • Dislocation

  • Fracture Care including Sonoma Clavicle Fracture Repair

  • Arthritis

  • Acromioclavicular Separation

  • Labial Tears

  • Rotator Cuff Tears

  • Bursitis/Tendonitis

  • Inflammatory Synovitis

  • Biceps Tendon Rupture

  • Throwing Motion Injuries


Subacromial Impingement Syndrome


Around 33% of people arrive at the doctor's office complaining of shoulder pain. The most common problem is subacromial impingement syndrome, a chronic condition. It is actually a broad diagnosis that encompasses several different conditions that all share the same basic cause: a small boney extension of the shoulder blade, called the acromion, presses down and pinches the muscles and tendons that raise and lower the arm. Some of the more common injuries that fall under subacromial impingement include rotator cuff tendinosis, partial thickness tear of the rotator cuff, and bursitis. Following diagnosis of a specific impingement condition, Dr. Workman will determine the best way to treat the injury. Often times, basic non-surgical interventions like rest, icing, physical therapy, or steroidal injections are sufficient to treat the problem. If these methods do not stop the pain however, surgery may be necessary. The most common surgeries are subacromial decompression and anterior acromioplasty.


Rotator Cuff Tear


The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint throughout its full range of motion. They hold the bone of the upper arm tightly in the socket and assist in various movements of the arm. They are crucial in the throwing motion of a baseball or football and are often injured in doing so. Pitchers and quarterbacks are particularly at risk, but increasing age is also significant factor. A cuff tear may also occur at the same time as another injury to the shoulder, such as a fracture or dislocation. Typically, a rotator cuff tear occurs at the tendon-bone junction and can cause considerable pain. Through physical examination and an MRI, Dr. Workman will determine if the cuff has experienced a partial or full thickness tear. Partial tears are most likely treat with conservative non-surgical measure that include rest, physical therapy, and a possible cortisone injection for the pain. Due to the nature of full thickness tears, arthroscopic surgery will almost always be recommended.

Clavicle Fracture


The clavicle (also known as your collarbone) is a long bone that connects the shoulder blade and the sternum (breastbone). There are two clavicles - a left and right. The clavicle is the only long bone in the body that lies horizontally and is one of the most commonly injured or broken. In some cases, a collarbone injury can heal on its own without surgery. In the event of a traumatic break, Dr Workman offers clavicle fracture repair with Sonoma Technology.


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