Jeff Stickney, MD

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon

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Shoulder Limitations

Shoulder Surgery

The shoulder is a complex joint. There are three bones and two joints that contribute to shoulder function– the humerus, clavicle, and scapula are the bones. The ball and socket joint of the shoulder is between the humerus and the scapula. The acromial clavicular joint between the scapula and clavicle moves with forward elevation of the arm and helps stabilize the shoulder on the chest wall. The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body and because of this it is easily injured.

Common problems in the shoulder joint include rotator cuff tendinitis and tears, impingement, labral tears, tears of the biceps tendon, and instability. Fortunately, almost all of these problems can be treated with advanced arthroscopic techniques if nonoperative treatment is unsuccessful.

Arthritis can also occur in the shoulder. With modern techniques, shoulder replacement surgery is a reliable method to improve pain and function, in an arthritic shoulder.

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis and Impingement

The rotator cuff is made up of four tendons (subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor) that work together to hold the humeral head (the ball part of the joint) in the shoulder socket and allow smooth rotational motion. When the rotator cuff is injured, weakness and pain can occur.

Rotator cuff injuries are very common. Rotator cuff disease encompasses a spectrum of disorders including rotator cuff tendinitis, impingement, subacromial bursitis, and rotator cuff tears.

Rotator cuff disease is correlated with age. Up to half of people over the age of 70 have a rotator cuff tear, whereas rotator cuff tears in people under age 40 are very rare and are usually due to repetitive injury (as in overhead athletes) or result from acute trauma. Over time, especially with a large rotator cuff tear that is not repaired, a certain type of arthritis can occur (cuff arthropathy ).

The pain from rotator cuff tears can sometimes be treated with rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. Once torn, the rotator cuff does not heal on its own. When pain persists despite medical treatment, and in younger patients with rotator cuff tears, a rotator cuff repair can be performed. The goal of rotator cuff repair is to decrease pain and improve function. Rotator cuff tears can now be treated arthroscopically, which allows for a quicker recovery and less postoperative pain.

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Shoulder Patient Education & Scientific Articles

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Is Physical Therapy Effective After Rotator Cuff Tear?

Dr. Stickney, a Kirkland orthopedic surgeon, is an expert in shoulder injury treatment, total and partial knee arthroplasty, sports medicine, and more.  Rotator cuff tears can occur from athletics such as baseball, weightlifting, competitive swimming or just over time with overuse and improper strength and flexibility. These shoulder injuries are extremely common, affecting at least 10% of people over the age of 60 in the United States – which equates to over 5.7 million individuals. Of

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how prp affects soft-tissue injuries

How PRP Affects Soft-Tissue Injuries

The discussion about platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, treatment is becoming a more popular topic by the minute. PRP treatment is being proposed as an alternative to normal orthopedic treatments that tend to be costly for the wallet and for your time. In a previous blog we looked at PRP treatments’ ability to handle orthopedic difficulties like ACL reconstruction, fractures, and osteoarthritis. This time, let’s shift our focus to: how PRP affects soft-tissue injuries.

For the purpose of this analysis we will look at how PRP affects meniscal repair, rotator cuff repair, and tendon healing.

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