Shoulder & Elbow Services

Comprehensive Shoulder & Elbow Treatment Expertise

At University Hospitals, we have a tradition of orthopedic excellence in patient care, cutting-edge research and education. Our expert orthopedic team, board-certified and fellowship-trained, has the specialized expertise and experience for any musculoskeletal issue. We have helped countless patients with a range of shoulder and elbow conditions, including the most complex injuries. Using evidence-based techniques, we help our patients ease pain and restore movement. Our goal is your goal – to restore form and function to bend, flex, reach or rotate arms and shoulders.

Whether you are an athlete with a sports-related injury or a patient of any age experiencing shoulder or elbow pain, we can help. With a specialized level of expertise, we help patients of any activity level return to the activities they enjoy – with an improved quality of life.

Nationally Recognized Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Offer Innovative Surgical Advances

While the majority of shoulder and elbow conditions can be treated with conservative treatments such as rest, ice application, injections, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy, surgery may be necessary. Our team of orthopedists provide high-volume specialized surgeries such as total shoulder replacement surgery, including reverse shoulder replacement and revision, and the most complex shoulder and elbow surgeries. Through evidence-based research, studies indicate patients have the best results and fewer complications when surgery is performed at a high volume center whose surgeons are specially trained and experienced in the most advanced surgical techniques.

We offer minimally invasive arthroscopy surgical procedures that use small incisions and a tiny camera to pinpoint the source of the problem and quickly repair it. Arthroscopic surgery uses a viewing instrument called an arthroscope to see inside of the joint. This surgical approach allows for a more efficient and effective diagnosis and treatment. In addition, minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures provide faster recovery and less pain, scarring and blood loss.

Our team of orthopedic surgeons actually teach these innovative arthroscopic techniques to the next generation of surgeons. Because our orthopedic specialists are full-time faculty members at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, they influence and pioneer some of the medical industry’s latest technological and procedural advances.

With a skilled surgical team of orthopedic specialists at University Hospitals, we are ready in the event more complex surgery is needed, including:

  • Arthroscopic labral repair: With repetitive motion use of the shoulders, or due to an accident or trauma, a labral tear can occur in the shoulder cartilage which can cause pain and limited flexibility. Our team is skilled in labral tear shoulder surgery, including minimally invasive options for the two most common types of labral injuries, SLAP tears and Bankart tears.
  • Reverse total shoulder replacement surgery: For complex shoulder injuries that may include a combination of arthritis, significant rotator cuff tears and shoulder instability, our team provides high-quality surgical solutions that in essence re-invent the shoulder function by reversing the ball and joint functionality. This approach is done when the muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint are not intact, such as when a significant rotator cuff tear occurs. This surgical option is available by skilled UH orthopedic surgeons for patients that in many cases have been told they have no other options for repair.
  • Revision of shoulder replacement: When a shoulder replacement fails and needs to be revised because of infection, injury or the return of unbearable shoulder pain or unacceptable stiffness, our team has the expertise to perform this technically complex procedure.
  • Rotator cuff repair: Identified as the muscles and tendons that hold your shoulder in place, injury to your rotator cuff can cause restricted movement and shoulder joint pain. Our specialized UH orthopedic team has the expertise for rotator cuff repairs to restore function and relieve pain.
  • Total shoulder replacement surgery: By creating new joint surfaces, our team replaces the damaged shoulder joint that is causing pain and a stiff shoulder. Our skilled orthopedic surgical team provides expert care for this complex total joint replacement surgery when the pain of osteoarthritis is limiting shoulder function or a traumatic fracture has occurred.

Our orthopedic surgeons have the expertise and experience for high-quality surgical results. With decades of expertise, research and development of new techniques, our team can take care of even the most complex elbow and shoulder injuries.

Orthopedic Shoulder and Elbow Conditions We Treat

Our shoulder and elbow specialists have the national expertise and high-volume experience for the diagnosis and treatment of all types of shoulder and elbow conditions including:

Individualized Rehabilitation Service

Our individualized rehabilitation services allow you to fully recover from your treatment and return to your normal lifestyle, safely and efficiently. After evaluating your pain levels, strength, mobility and other various factors, our team will work together to design a rehab plan that is tailored to your particular condition and personal goals.

Additionally, we offer performance programs to help athletes of all levels improve their ability to perform optimally in their given sport.

The Cleveland Browns Choose University Hospitals for Orthopedic Expertise

With a strong tradition of clinical excellence, our orthopedic and sports medicine specialists have been chosen as leaders in NFL research, team physicians for the Cleveland Browns and team physician for the U.S. Olympic Committee. In addition, we provide medical coverage for the Cleveland Marathon and Triathlon, USA Wrestling tournaments and Division I college tournaments. This level of advanced care means that our nationally recognized team delivers superior clinical outcomes to the most elite athletes – and our local patients – all with patient centered compassionate care.

Innovative Research Techniques and Improvements to Care

With a team of sports medicine orthopedic specialists that are focused on more optimal outcomes, we are continuously identifying new techniques and improvements to care. As leaders in orthopedic research for the NFL, our UH sports medicine physicians have actually presented more research evidence to the NFL than any other organization. Current research includes innovative techniques using ultrasound, research focused on previously irreparable rotator cuff tears, stem cell studies and wearable technology advancement.

In addition, we are working on research through a study funded by the state of Ohio to determine better pain management techniques using ice therapy to limit opioid use after surgery.

This evidence-based research benefits our patients every day as we continue to improve surgical techniques, enhance treatment protocols and find better ways to improve orthopedic health.

Advanced Tenex Procedure Provides High Success Rates

At University Hospitals, our orthopedic team is one of only a few in northeast Ohio to perform an advanced procedure called Tenex, using an ultrasound-guided technique. By seeing the tendon issue on ultrasound, we can clearly identify the source of pain and confirm the diagnosis. Then, using this minimally invasive procedure, we can treat your tendonitis, resulting in a very high success rate of pain-free results in a matter of weeks. This innovative technique is one way that our team provides another option prior to open surgery.

For More Information about Shoulder and Elbow Expertise at UH

If you are seeking a second opinion or more innovative techniques for your shoulder or elbow pain, or treatment for any athletic injury, our team can help. For more information on shoulder and elbow treatments at our convenient locations, or to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic doctors, contact us today.

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