Shoulder and Elbow
The Most Versatile Joint in the Human Body
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. The ball is called the head of the humerus and the socket is called the glenoid (it’s part of your shoulder blade, also known as the scapula). Sometimes, arthritis can form here. On top of this ball and socket joint is another bone known as the acromion. This is a frequent place for bone spurs to form. Right next door to the acromion is the acromioclavicular joint or “AC joint” for short. This is a common place for shoulder separations. A group of 4 muscles helps to move your shoulder joint; they are called the rotator cuff. These muscles work together to help get your arm up over your head, as well as rotate it in and out. That’s why rotator cuff injuries usually result in weakness, especially in trying to raise the arm overhead. In addition, these rotator cuff muscles function to help keep your shoulder “located.” When the shoulder comes out of socket, it’s called “dislocated”. You have several ligaments in your shoulder that help to keep it in place. Finally, there’s an “O-ring” around the socket, called the labrum, which also helps keep your shoulder in socket and causes pain and popping when it’s torn.
Whether you’re suffering from a recent injury, such as a rotator cuff tear or shoulder dislocation, or the pain in your shoulder has developed over time from shoulder tendonitis or bursitis, our shoulder doctors at Southern Bone & Joint Specialists understand your desire for pain relief.
The elbow is an example of a hinge joint or a joint moving in one direction permitting only flexion and extension. The elbow joint is formed by 3 bones: the humerus of the upper arm, and the bones of the forearm: the radius laterally and the ulna medially. The joint is actually formed by the trochlea of the humerus articulating with the ulna and the capitulum of the humerus articulating with the head of the radius. Although there are two sets of articulations, there is only one joint capsule and a large bursa to lubricate the joint. An extensive network of ligaments helps the elbow joint maintain its stability. The ligaments of the elbow joint include the ulnar collateral, and the radial collateral ligaments and the annular ligaments. Because so many muscles originate or insert near the elbow, it is a common site for injury.
Elbow pain can be the result of a condition that has developed over time, such as osteoarthritis, or of a recent injury, such as a fall. The onset of osteoarthritis, a condition involving the degeneration of joint cartilage, often occurs in people with a history of elbow injuries. The most common cause of pain in the elbow can be related to a recent injury. Elbow injuries commonly occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related responsibilities, and falls. Elbow pain can also be caused by overuse. Overuse injuries of the elbow, such as tendonitis, tennis elbow, or golfer’s elbow, lead to inflammation, which can cause considerable pain in the elbow and forearm.
If you are suffering shoulder or elbow pain, call (334) 793-2663 to schedule an appointment.