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CU Sports Medicine

CU Sports Medicine

Denver (720) 848-8200 | Boulder (303) 441-2219​

 

Shoulder and Elbow


Who we are

Our fellowship-trained shoulder specialists have years of expertise in treating a variety of shoulder injuries.

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 Eric McCarty, MD
Jonathan Bravman, MD
 Armando Vidal, MD


How we help

What most people call the shoulder is really several joints that combine with tendons and muscles to allow a wide range of motion in the arm—from scratching your head to throwing a baseball. Our specialized training provides the expertise necessary to evaluate and treat any problem around the shoulder, be it simple or complex.

Common shoulder injuries

  • Impingement: Impingement is caused by inflammation of the rotator cuff and bursa. Pain occurs when raising the arm above one's head.
  • Recurring dislocation: Dislocation is caused by a tear in the labrum or excess laxity in the joint's capsule.
  • Instability: Instability occurs when the shoulder is forced beyond its joint's normal range of motion causing the ball to move abnormally in the socket.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis may be caused by long-term wear, infection, traumatic injury, or a variety of other diseases. It is characterized by worn cartilage and roughened joint surfaces and fragmentation of bone and cartilage.

Common procedures

  • Arthroscopy: Arthroscopy allows us to use small incisions to look inside the shoulder and identify problems. We can often correct any problems by removing loose unwanted tissue from the joint without any additional surgical trauma. Recovery time is usually short.
  • Rotator cuff repair: This procedure is performed to repair a tear to the rotator cuff, relieving the patient's pain and improving function of the tendons and muscles that move the joint. The surgery is usually performed on elderly patients with discomfort and weakness in the deltoid region, which occurs with normal daily activities. The pain is often worse at night.
  • Total shoulder replacement: Total shoulder replacement is a procedure involving the replacement of the head of the humerus (ball) and in the resurfacing of the glenoid (socket). This surgery is performed to provide pain relief for patients with severe arthritis in the shoulder joint, the major indication for the procedure. Total shoulder replacement is relatively new; therefore, the improvement of function may result but is less predictable.
  • Bankart procedure: This operation restores shoulder stability by tightening the ligaments and repairing torn capsular detachments. It is often performed on athletes involved in throwing sports who suffer from recurrent dislocations and subluxations. The procedure allows the patient to return to throwing sports such as baseball, and contact sports such as football, wrestling, and hockey because the muscles and tendons are returned to their proper anatomic positions.

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