People with a shoulder injury may find that learning the anatomy of the shoulder will help them understand their condition and the range of available treatment options. The shoulder is a complex joint that can be damaged over time by injury, overuse and age-related wear. Common conditions that require treatment include rotator cuff tears, shoulder instability, labral tears, frozen shoulder, AC separation, and shoulder arthritis.
When patients visit Dr. Ira Guttentag at Florida Medical Clinic Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, he will perform a physical examination and use diagnostic imaging as needed to identify the cause of the shoulder pain or mobility limitations. The elements of the shoulder that may be evaluated include:
- Bones – The three bones in the shoulder – the arm bone (humerus), collar bone (clavicle), and shoulder blade (scapula) – provide a structure for the attachment of muscles, ligaments and tendons.
- Cartilage – This rubbery material allows joints to glide smoothly. Articular cartilage at the end of the bones provides protection from friction, and fibrous cartilage gives the joint stability.
- Muscles – Muscles raise, lower, and rotate the arm through their connection with the tendons in the shoulder. The deep rotator cuff muscles located just outside the joint control a wide range of movement, while the deltoid muscles take over when the arm is away from the side.
- Tendons – The tendons attach muscle to bone. Four tendons make up the rotator cuff, which allows the shoulder to be rotated and raised.
- Ligaments – This soft tissue connects bone to bone, helping to hold them together. Ligaments play a crucial role in stabilizing the shoulder.
- Bursae – These fluid-filled sacs around the joint provide lubrication to minimize friction between the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
To request an appointment with Dr. Guttentag, contact Florida Medical Clinic Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today. He will be pleased to answer any questions you have about the anatomy of the shoulder as it relates to your condition and the available treatment options.