Warning signs of a shoulder injury

Since many conditions that affect the shoulder can be quite painful and make it difficult to carry out daily activities, our goal at the Northwell Health Orthopaedic Institute is to help you maintain and restore musculoskeletal function as quickly and painlessly as possible. We’re here to help you get back to the daily activities you love - and to be your partner in a safe, healthy, rapid recovery.

If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder, consider these questions:

  • Is your shoulder stiff? Are you unable to rotate your arm in all the normal positions?
  • Does it feel like your shoulder could pop out or slide out of its socket?
  • Do you lack the strength in your shoulder to carry out your daily activities?

If you answered "yes" to any one of these questions, you should contact a Northwell Health orthopaedic specialist for help in determining the severity of the problem.


Most problems in the shoulder involve the muscles, ligaments and tendons, rather than the bones. Though shoulder problems can affect anyone, athletes are especially susceptible to injury. In athletes, shoulder problems can develop slowly through repetitive, intensive training routines.

Some people will have a tendency to ignore the pain and "play through" a shoulder injury, which only aggravates the condition and could cause more problems. People also may underestimate the extent of their injury because steady pain, weakness in the arm, or limitation of joint motion will become almost second nature to them.

Our orthopaedists specialize in the following shoulder conditions:

Labral tears

The labrum is a piece of cartilage within your shoulder socket. It plays a large role in supporting the ball and socket joint as well as various tendons and muscles, including the rotator cuff. The labrum helps keep the shoulder stable and, as a result, labral tears can often result in shoulder dislocation. Click to learn more.

Shoulder impingement

Impingement is caused by excessive rubbing of the shoulder muscles against the top part of the shoulder blade, called the acromion. Impingement problems can occur during activities that require excessive overhead arm motion. Medical care should be sought immediately for inflammation in the shoulder, as it could eventually lead to a more serious injury. Click to learn more.

Rotator cuff tear

A rotator cuff tear is a partial or total split in the tendinous portion of the four muscles that connect the upper arm bone (the humerus) to the shoulder blade (the scapula). Click to learn more.

Arthritis of the shoulder

Arthritis can develop after a large, long-standing rotator cuff tear when the torn rotator cuff can no longer hold the head of the humerus in the glenoid socket, allowing the humerus to move upward and rub against the acromion. This can damage the surfaces of the bones, causing arthritis to develop.

The combination of a large rotator cuff tear and advanced arthritis can lead to severe pain and weakness, resulting in lost range of motion. Click to learn more.


Labral repair

Labral repair surgery is a procedure used to reverse damage to the labrum. The labrum can be torn due to a sports injury to the shoulder and often occurs in people who participate in football, baseball, golf, weightlifting and tennis or who suffer traumatic injuries such as falls or motor vehicle accidents. Labral repair surgery can regain motion in the shoulder and ease the painful symptoms. Click to learn more.

Superior labrum from anterior to posterior (SLAP) repair

SLAP repair is a surgical procedure used to correct a SLAP tear, which is an injury to the labrum in the shoulder joint. SLAP repair is performed with shoulder arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure used to repair various painful conditions of the shoulder such as rotator cuff tendon tears, torn ligaments and bone spurs. Click to learn more.

Shoulder and elbow tendon repair

Shoulder and elbow tendon repair surgeries are procedures that repair one or more torn tendons. They reconnect complete or partial tendon tears, eliminate pain and restore movement, strength and function to the shoulder and elbow. Click to learn more.

Shoulder decompression surgery

Shoulder decompression is a type of surgery used to correct the painful condition of shoulder impingement. If nonsurgical treatments fail to be effective in correcting shoulder impingement, your orthopaedist may recommend shoulder arthroscopy surgery — also referred to as "scoping the shoulder." Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive form of shoulder decompression surgery. Click to learn more.

Shoulder arthroscopy

Shoulder arthroscopy, also referred to as a "shoulder scope," is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used by orthopaedic surgeons to treat various painful disorders of the shoulder such as rotator cuff tendon tears, cartilage disorders, shoulder instability, torn ligaments and bone spurs. Click to learn more.

Shoulder fracture fixation surgery

Shoulder fracture fixation is a surgical procedure that uses a system of metal instrumentation such as screws, pins, plates and metal frames to internally or externally repair a broken bone in the shoulder. Falls, collisions, motor vehicle accidents and sports injuries are common causes of shoulder fractures. Click to learn more.

Shoulder replacement surgery

Shoulder replacement is joint replacement surgery to treat conditions such as arthritis of the shoulder, rotator cuff tear and fracture of the shoulder blade. These conditions can cause severe shoulder pain, hinder the normal range of motion and affect your daily activities and sleep. Click to learn more.

Rotator cuff repair

Rotator cuff repair surgery is a procedure that helps restore the function and flexibility of the shoulder and relieve the pain that cannot be controlled by nonsurgical treatments. Rotator cuff repair surgery may consist of shaving off bone spurs that are pinching the shoulder or repairing torn rotator cuff tendons and/or torn muscles in the shoulder. Click to learn more.

Open shoulder instability repair and reconstruction

Open shoulder instability repair, sometimes called open shoulder stabilization, is a treatment used to stabilize the shoulder joint when someone experiences repeat dislocations. Click to learn more.

Northwell Health Orthopaedic Institute

The Orthopaedic Institute offers a full range of services — including evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitative care — for illnesses and injuries affecting your bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.