The shoulder is the most moveable joint in the body. Its ball (humerus) is smaller than its socket (glenoid), so, like a golf ball on a tee, stability can be an issue, and it relies upon muscles, tendons, and ligaments to hold in place. Shoulder trauma, overuse or long-term wear can hinder the joint’s stability and interfere with many aspects of your life.

Shoulder Specialists You Can Lean On

Your shoulder is the most movable joint in the body, responsible for hugs, home runs, hard work and home cooking. As a result, trauma or long-term wear can cause pain and lack of mobility that interferes with many aspects of a person’s life. It’s our passion to make sure your function is restored.


Orthopaedics East & Sports Medicine Center specializes in treatments designed to keep you doing what you love. Our practice has treated thousands of shoulder issues and provided comprehensive treatment plans for friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors across Eastern North Carolina — gaining us a hard-earned reputation for results. We have extensive experience and significant expertise in both non-surgical and surgical options to relieve your pain and restore your functionality.


You may have a shoulder injury if:

  • Your shoulder is stiff and doesn’t allow full movement
  • Your shoulder lacks strength to perform your daily activities
  • You regularly experience severe pain
  • Your shoulder feels as if it’s slipping out of place (upper arm bone “popping” or a feeling that your arm is sliding out of the shoulder socket)

The most common type of arthritis in the shoulder is osteoarthritis — sometimes called degenerative arthritis because it is a “wearing out” condition involving the breakdown of cartilage. It is, however, rare that osteoarthritis occurs in individuals who have not experienced a previous shoulder injury. Shoulder osteoarthritis most often occurs many years following a shoulder injury such as a fracture or dislocation that has led to joint instability and damage. Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune condition, also deteriorates the cartilage of the shoulder. This often occurs bilaterally, meaning it affects both shoulders around the same time.


Shoulder tendonitis is very common. Repetitive movement of the arm, especially when the arm is overhead, can lead to stress and strain of the tendons that surround the shoulder joint. Athletes and those in physically demanding jobs may be prone to shoulder tendonitis. Symptoms of shoulder tendonitis are pain or a dull aching, sometimes accompanied by the inability to hold your arm in certain positions. The rotator cuff (the tendons that contain the shoulder joint) and biceps tendon (in the front of the shoulder) are most often affected. If left untreated, shoulder tendonitis can lead to more serious problems, such as rotator cuff or bicep tendon tears or ruptures.


Rotator Cuff Tear

A tear of one or more of the rotator cuff tendons/muscles. Most tears occur in the supraspinatus tendon, but other parts of the rotator cuff may also be involved. Tears can be partial or full. They can also occur acutely (from an isolated incident) or occur over time from repetitive stress/strain, bone spurs or a lack of blood supply.


Frozen Shoulder

The shoulder capsule thickens and bands of tissue (adhesions) develop, resulting in the shoulder becoming stiff and tight. Frozen shoulder occurs in three phases: freezing, frozen, and thawing. It typically can be treated non-operatively with physical therapy but occasionally requires an arthroscopic capsular release.

Other Common Issues:
  • Bursa/Bursitis
  • Chronic Instability
  • Dislocations and Separations
  • Impingements
  • Labral and SLAP Tears
  • Tendinopathy
  • Sprains and Fractures
    • Clavicle
    • Proximal Humerus
    • Scapula (Shoulder Blade)
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