Shoulder pain and shoulder injury
Shoulder specialists with Duke’s nationally ranked orthopaedic program use sophisticated imaging and testing to identify the cause of your shoulder pain. Our doctors in Raleigh and Durham work with you to create a personalized treatment plan designed to relieve your pain and get you back in action as soon as possible.
Expertise in shoulder pain treatment
Shoulder pain is extremely common. Knowing what’s causing your pain and choosing the right treatment takes an expert evaluation. Our shoulder specialists offer a full array of medical and physical therapy to relieve neck and shoulder pain caused by arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, rotator cuff tears, frozen shoulder, shoulder dislocation and separation, and collar bone (clavicle) fractures. If conventional options do not work and surgery becomes necessary, our surgeons’ experience ensures you receive the best possible care to relieve your pain and regain your shoulder function as soon as possible.
Choose Duke for your care because we offer:
- Experience and expertise. We perform more than 200 shoulder joint replacement surgeries each year, more than other centers in the Southeast. Our orthopaedic surgeons have experience in shoulder replacement surgery corrections and specialized surgeries not generally performed elsewhere, such as repairing clavicle (collarbone) fractures and reverse total shoulder replacement surgery. Duke's orthopaedic program is consistently ranked as one of the top in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
- 24-hour access. If you need orthopedic care fast due to pain or injury we offer 24-hour access to appointments. In many cases, a orthopaedic provider may see you the same day you call for an appointment. Learn more about obtaining an appointment within the next 24 hours.
- Orthopaedic urgent care. If you need immediate care for an injury, Duke Orthopaedics Urgent Care offers orthopaedic-specific care at two convenient locations seven days a week. You will experience the convenience of fast service with no long waits and no unnecessary exposure to sick people.
- Specialized physical therapy. Our certified physical therapists work in tandem with doctors to provide physical therapy specific to your shoulder injury and specialize in treating injuries associated with a particular sport or activity. We aim to return you to your regular activities pain-free.
- Same-day surgery with regional anesthesia. Depending on your condition, you may undergo minimally invasive procedures, performed on an outpatient basis with pain blocks instead of general anesthesia. This allows you to return to your normal activities faster.
- Help for complex nerve injuries. We specialize in treating injuries to the brachial plexus, a network of nerves that sends signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm and hand. This type of injury often occurs as the result of trauma or a fall. If surgery is needed, we are experts in the use of microsurgery to repair these nerves, with minimal damage to surrounding tissue, ultimately eliminating your pain.
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SHOULDER PAIN AND INJURIES
Our doctors will work with you to devise a treatment plan that best suits your needs. If surgery is necessary, our surgeons incorporate arthroscopic and minimally invasive techniques using small incisions so that whenever possible shoulder procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia. As a result, patients return home the same day and enjoy less pain and a quicker recovery.
We offer every type of conservative orthopaedic treatment available, including bracing, physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and steroid injections to resolve pain due to shoulder tendonitis, rotator cuff injuries, bursitis and other shoulder injuries. Our doctors may also use platelet-rich plasma injections -- when plasma is extracted from your blood and injected into injured tissue -- to promote healing and possibly eliminate the need for surgery.
Our doctors may use ultrasound to precisely target the source of pain. They can inject anti-inflammatory medication, steroids and platelet-rich plasma.
Duke is a pioneer in repairing large muscle and tendon tears with tissue grafts or transfers of tendon from other parts of the body. This method is used when the rotator cuff is so worn that it cannot be sewn back together.
Our doctors use this procedure to restore stability to dislocated or separated shoulders.
Our unique expertise with shoulder replacement surgery, also known as shoulder joint arthroplasty, draws patients from around the country, including many who have failed previous surgery elsewhere. Patients with a torn rotator cuff that can’t be repaired or those who had unsuccessful shoulder replacement surgery elsewhere may be candidates for reverse total shoulder replacement surgery. This procedure relies on the deltoid muscle, instead of the rotator cuff, to power and position the arm.
We are nationally recognized for treating patients after previously failed shoulder replacements. We receive referrals from around the country and often tackle the most challenging cases.
When complicated breaks require surgery, Duke surgeons repair and realign bones by implanting plates, screws and rods.
Our certified physical therapists specialize in treating injuries associated with a particular sport or activity.
SHOULDER PAIN AND INJURIES
Duke’s doctors use a variety of techniques to diagnose the source of shoulder pain, including X-rays and office-based ultrasound.
We’ll pinpoint your concerns using advanced imaging technologies, such as MRI, to rule out underlying conditions such as soft tissue damage, as well as CT scans, which combine X-rays with computer technology to produce a cross-sectional picture of your shoulder.