No joint in your body compares with the shoulder when it comes to range of motion. While rotator cuff injuries involving muscles and tendons are well-known, shoulder sprains involving ligaments happen as well. Like an ankle sprain, ligaments in the shoulder become stretched and torn when a motion forces the joint beyond its normal range.
Choose shoulder surgeon Scott Ellsworth, MD, located in Leawood, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, for any shoulder-related condition, including sprains and ligament tears. Treatment for most ligament sprains is non-surgical, so you’ll benefit from conservative care under Dr. Ellsworth’s supervision. As with many injuries, your first concern with a ligament tear is pain.
Ligament damage in the shoulder isn’t a common injury since the seven ligaments that connect bone to bone are strong and well-protected by shoulder muscles. But force on the front of the shoulder pushing can cause ligaments to overextend. Contact sports, falls that land directly on a shoulder, or car accidents could provide the amount of force needed for a ligament injury. A blow to the shoulder blade may also cause ligament damage.
The most common symptom of a ligament tear is pain in the front of the shoulder. Pressing gently at the site of the injury reveals tenderness, and the joint typically swells. You’ll likely notice limits to the range of movement of the shoulder. In severe cases, shoulder movement may feel unstable. Dr. Ellsworth can usually diagnose a shoulder sprain during an examination, but in some cases, a magnetic resonance image (MRI) can help gauge the severity and specific location of the damage.
Immediately after the injury, care for your shoulder using the RICE protocol.
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help to manage pain and reduce swelling. Use these steps to care for your shoulder until you can visit Dr. Ellsworth.
Follow Dr. Ellsworth’s instructions for care after your appointment. As a shoulder pain specialist, Dr. Ellsworth recommends additional treatments as needed. These can include:
You may also benefit from muscle relaxants, steroid injections, or other treatments.
Contact the most convenient of our offices in Leawood, Kansas, or Kansas City, Missouri, when shoulder pain becomes an issue. You can book an appointment online or by phone at either location. Assure that your pain is short-lived by scheduling your visit today.