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At Sierra Pacific Orthopedics, the region's most preferred orthopedic practice, our specialty-trained shoulder doctors are recognized experts in assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients with shoulder injuries and conditions.

Shoulder specialists have undergone specialized medical training in order to understand the many types of shoulder conditions and injuries that exist and how best to treat them. Because the shoulder is a highly flexible ball-and-socket joint—joined together with tendons, ligaments, and cartilage—it is also unstable and prone to injury. (Note that the hip is the only other ball-and-socket joint in the body. These joints allow for more movement than hinge joints, such as the knee joint, which only allow for motion in one direction.)

A shoulder specialist sees many types of patients. For example, a doctor might treat a senior who is coping with shoulder pain from arthritis or a fracture after a fall. Someone might come to a shoulder specialist with a shoulder joint issue, and after evaluation, the doctor may recommend a type of surgery, such as arthroscopic acromioclavicular repair, which joins together torn ligaments in the shoulder joint. Joint replacement may also be an option.

He or she might care for an athlete who has a sports-related repetitive stress injury that developed while playing baseball, a rotator cuff injury, frozen shoulder, tendonitis, or something else. Our team of sports medicine surgeons also see these types of injuries. For more information on sports-related injuries and treatments, consult our Athlete and Parent's Online Guide to Sports Medicine.

Rotator cuff tears are common causes of shoulder pain. The shoulder specialist might recommend rotator cuff repair if the injury is serious or if the tear is complete. Sometimes, a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure can be used on the rotator cuff, while other times, another type of orthopedic treatment might be better.

Shoulder injuries sometimes happen at the same time as elbow injuries. Even if a patient is not experiencing elbow pain, a specialist may look at the elbow during an exam or take X-rays that include the arm bones, clavicle, and elbow to understand the underlying issue.

When Should I Seek Shoulder Surgery or Other Care From a Shoulder Specialist?

Pay attention to symptoms in the arm and shoulder joint so when you meet with a doctor or surgeon, you can provide him or her with detailed information regarding your pain. People with shoulder problems sometimes report symptoms such as:

  • Clicking sound when moving the joint
  • Elbow pain in addition to shoulder pain
  • Lifting the arm is difficult due to weakness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Shoulder appears misshapen or out of alignment
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Unable to reach the arm overhead
  • Unable to sleep on your side 

If any of these symptoms seem familiar, you may have one of the following shoulder issues:

  • Bursitis
  • Broken clavicle (collarbone)
  • Dislocation
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Hill–Sachs lesion
  • Labral tear
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Scapula (shoulder blade) fracture
  • Separated shoulder
  • Shoulder arthritis
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Sprain
  • Sports-related condition, such as swimmer’s shoulder
  • Tendon issue, such as tenodesis or shoulder tendonitis

What to Expect With Our Shoulder Specialists

After a thorough assessment, which may include electrodiagnostic medicine or on-site imaging (including X-ray, MRI, and bone density scans), our shoulder doctors will work with you to determine a course of treatment. Our experts always consider nonsurgical treatment first, such as anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy with one of our certified physical therapists, and minimally invasive nonoperative options, like in-office orthobiologics. Your doctor may also recommend adapting your daily activities to avoid further pain before suggesting surgery.

When shoulder surgery is necessary, our shoulder surgeons utilize the state-of-the-art Summit Surgical facility and employ advanced techniques and procedures, such as shoulder arthroscopy, minimally invasive surgeries, shoulder replacement, and reverse shoulder replacement. Additionally, as part of our Shoulder Center, our providers work together to offer you comprehensive care and the latest treatments to help you restore your function.

To seek specialized care from one of our shoulder doctors at our Herndon Campus, use our MyChoice resource and find the specialist for you or call (559) 256-5200.

The Strength of Experience at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics

At Sierra Pacific Orthopedics, we are dedicated to providing all our fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopedic experts, including our shoulder doctors, with every tool and resource they may need. This includes state-of-the-art technology, a dedicated staff, and the strength that comes from working side-by-side with a team of orthopedic experts.

Our specialty-trained shoulder experts have dedicated their medical practices to patients with orthopedic issues, including those who need comprehensive shoulder care. Dr. Jerome Dunklin, Dr. Eric Hanson, Dr. Julia Lee, Dr. Michael Nuzzo, Dr. Michele Schulz, Dr. David Taylor, Dr. Steven Thaxter, and Dr. Thomas Thomas are all trained in orthopedic surgery and the anatomy and function of the shoulder. They are proud to offer a variety of orthopedic care solutions, including shoulder surgery, to get you back to doing what you love.

If you have a shoulder injury or issue that is concerning you, contact us today at (559) 256-5200 or schedule an appointment online to receive the specialized shoulder care you deserve.