Shoulder Tendonitis

Generally

What do we call shoulder tendonitis?

Shoulder tendonitis is a condition caused by the inflammation of the tendons and is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain.

The tendons play a dominant role in the movement of the upper limb, since thanks to them the muscles are attached to the bones and thus the hand acquires the ability to move freely.

Shoulder tendonitis is characterized by acute pain as a primary symptom and significantly restricts  shoulder movement.

How is tendonitis created?

The most important tendons in the shoulder are 4, the subscapularis, the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus and the teres minor. All of these form a group of tendons, called the rotator cuff. Another tendon that is vulnerable to stress is the biceps tendon.

These tendons are responsible for all the movements of the shoulder and when their strain exceeds a certain level, inflammation is created. Some of the factors that contribute to its appearance are:

  1. Intense muscle activity: When the muscles are constantly working to perform a movement, so does the corresponding tendon. So the chances of tendon inflammation are higher.
  2. Prolonged strain: The continuous strain on the shoulder muscles is related with the increasing accumulation of load on the rotator cuff of the shoulder, resulting in the development of tendonitis.
  3. Shoulder anatomy: If one of the two bony structures (the acromion), around which the shoulder tendons move, protrudes a lot, then it is easier to develop tendonitis due to the friction of the tendon on the lower surface of the acromion.

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Symptoms of shoulder tendonitis

The main and often the only symptom of shoulder tendonitis is pain, the intensity of which of course varies, depending on the severity of the strain.

It is usually located on the outer side of the shoulder and arm, but can also affect the neck. The pain can be either permanent or occasional and varies depending on the movements.

A patient with tendonitis finds it difficult to move his shoulder and find a comfortable resting place, especially during sleep, as it is almost impossible to lie down on the affected area.

Diagnosis of shoulder tendonitis

The diagnosis of shoulder tendonitis is made with a combination of taking health history, physical examination and imaging control. Shoulder ultrasound and MRI are the two necessary diagnostic tests, which will reveal the size of the tendon damage.

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Treatment of shoulder tendonitis

Conservative

In the initial stages, rest and anti-inflammatory and analgesic treatment for a short period of time is recommended.

In acute tendonitis and as soon as the days of intense pain have passed, it is necessary for the patient to follow a physiotherapy program to improve the symptoms and maintain movement. In case of chronic tendonitis, physical therapy to restore movement can begin immediately.

Surgical treatment

In chronic tendonitis due to shoulder impingement syndrome, arthroscopic treatment offers a definite solution to the problem.

During shoulder arthroscopy through two small holes, the tendon is cleaned and the unnecessary bone that creates pressure in the tendon is removed with the use of special tools.

Anesthesia is usually general and recovery time is very short. Hospitalization only lasts a few hours. The patient returns to normal activities within 4 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a chance shoulder tendonitis to reappear after surgery?

Once the surgery and the subsequent rehabilitation program are done properly with the patient adhering to all the instructions, then the chances of recurrence are eliminated.

What is the success rate of shoulder arthroscopy?

If applied based on the right indications in the right patients, the success rates are over 90%-95%.

How long does the operation take?

Shoulder arthroscopy lasts 40 minutes.

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