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Our shoulder doctors are recognized experts in the field and have the specialized knowledge to assess, diagnose, and treat a full range of shoulder injuries and conditions.

Made up of a ball-and-socket joint and comprised of a system of muscles and ligaments connecting the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade), and humerus (upper arm bone), the shoulder joint is the most mobile of all the joints. Though, because of this, the shoulder is also unstable and prone to injury and degeneration. Many times, shoulder issues happen because the soft tissues in the shoulder region break down, either due to overuse or the normal wear and tear of aging. Certain sports and types of manual labor, as well as repetitive activities that wear on the shoulder joint, can cause shoulder pain.

Know When It’s Time to See a Shoulder Doctor

If you think your pain may be due to a shoulder injury or if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should contact a shoulder doctor near you:

  • Aching
  • Bone-on-bone sensation when using arm
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Pain after raised arm is forced backward
  • Stiff and painful joint
  • Swelling
  • Throbbing at night
  • Unable to reach hand over head

You should also seek medical care from a physician if you have a fever or if your skin reddens, becomes warmer, and/or becomes more sensitive, since you could have an infection.

Common shoulder problems that can be treated with both nonsurgical and surgical treatments include:

  • Arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Dislocation
  • Fractures
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder instability or acromioclavicular joint disorders
  • Sports injuries
  • Sprains and strains
  • Stretched ligaments
  • Swimmer’s shoulder
  • Swollen bursa sacs
  • Tendonitis, or tendinitis
  • Tendon tears
  • Torn rotator cuff 

At Vail-Summit Orthopaedics, our specialty-trained shoulder doctors understand the first step towards reducing your pain and restoring you to better health is a proper diagnosis to pinpoint the specific cause of your shoulder pain and the most effective treatment for your individual shoulder injury or condition.

To consult with one of our orthopaedic doctors specializing in the shoulder at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics, you may request an appointment online or call one of our three locations in EdwardsFrisco, or Vail.

Why choose Vail-Summit Orthopaedics?

With years of experience and advanced training devoted to the orthopaedic care of the shoulder, our esteemed specialists at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics are unparalleled experts in accurately diagnosing and effectively treating shoulder injuries and conditions with and without surgery.

Our shoulder specialists, Dr. Richard Cunningham, Dr. Erik Dorf, and Dr. William Sterett, are surgeons who have additional training to include being fellowship-trained in hand and upper extremity and sports medicine and are also recognized leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and conditions as well as advanced shoulder surgery, such as shoulder arthroscopy and shoulder replacement.

To consult with our Vail-Summit Orthopaedics shoulder surgeons about your treatment options, please request an appointment online. You can also learn more about the disorders we treat through our patient education resources. 

Tips for Healthy Shoulders

As the most flexible joint in the human body, the shoulder is a very valuable joint that can be easily injured. The following are tips to help you increase your chances of staying pain-free. Use these techniques to help protect yourself from injury and pain.

Maintain Good Posture
While we often think about the back when it comes to posture, good posture has a positive effect on your entire musculoskeletal system, including your shoulders. Practice good posture and adjust your living and work spaces in ways that will support good posture.

Adjust Your Work Space
If possible, arrange your work environment so you're working at waist to chest height. This will help reduce stress on your shoulder joints.

Keep Moving
Every day, move each shoulder through its full range of motion to help retain mobility. Make sure your movements are slow and gentle to avoid injury, and be careful not to overextend.

Lift Properly
Whenever lifting anything heavy, keep your elbow and arm near your torso—or ask someone else to help you or lift the item for you instead.

Choose Wisely
While physical activity is important for good health, avoid certain sports that could aggravate your shoulders, such as tennis, golf, or baseball.