Tag Archive for: Orthopedics

Treatments for Hip Pain

As we age, hip pain becomes a common issue for many of us – and there are a wide range of causes for it. The most common cause of hip pain is arthritis, which causes the joints to become inflamed and ache.

Osteoarthritis, also often called simply “arthritis,” is considered an overuse type of arthritic injury. It can occur in athletes in joints that are overused, and it can occur in people as we get older and have been using our hips and other joints for many years. Arthritis inflammation leads to swelling, and the swelling leads to stiffness and pain. 

If you are experiencing chronic pain in one or both hips, the method of treatment for your hip pain will depend on the underlying cause of the pain. Let’s talk about what can be done to treat and minimize your hip pain, and who can best help you.

What Can I Do for My Hip Pain?

There are several things you can do and lifestyle changes you can make in order to help lessen your hip pain, including the following:

  • If you are overweight, lose weight. That would place less pressure on the hips, knees, and feet.
  • Avoid jogging or running downhill. If you are an avid jogger and come to a downhill section, the gravity of each stride plus your body weight places additional stressors on the hip joint – so it’s better to walk down the hills.
  • Avoid standing for a long time.
  • See an orthopedist for some methods to strengthen the surrounding muscles without placing pressure on the hip. The hip joint is a very deep joint and is surrounded by muscle, so strengthening those muscles will help take some pressure off the hip and bring relief.

Minimizing Impact on Your Hips

If you engage in high-impact activities, always warm up before a workout. That includes a full 15 minutes of stretching.

It is a good idea to swap jogging or tennis for more low-impact or no-impact activities, such as cycling or swimming. Activities with less impact will cause less damage to your hip.

Ensure that your shoes fit properly, and that you are wearing the correct gear. Your socks, shoes, and clothing should all fit you well and not tug while you move. Shoes and socks that are too tight can hinder proper circulation, so make sure they’re supportive and snug without making your toes immovable in them. Shoes should have enough cushioning to absorb the shock away from your hips while you walk. 

Medical Treatment for Hip Pain

Your orthopedist will diagnose the source of your hip pain and will provide the best plan to move ahead with your treatment. Ultrasound-guided injections can bring about several months with minimized pain. Physical therapy is also very helpful for many patients.

If physical therapy, pain-relief injections, and other noninvasive or minimally invasive methods do not work to lessen your hip pain, your orthopedist may discuss hip surgery with you. Minimally invasive hip replacement surgery is now available as an outpatient treatment, and this may work for you.

The medical field has made incredible strides in pain-relief treatments, and your orthopedic physician will explain your options.

Hip Doctors in Colorado Springs 

If you are in or near Colorado Springs, and you or a loved one suffers from hip pain, get it checked out by experienced orthopedic surgeons. Our team takes care of high-profile Olympians, professional and amateur athletes, as well as weekend warriors and active retirees. We will first try the most minimally invasive methods possible to help relieve your hip pain, and that may be all you need to get back to your active lifestyle.

Contact our team today at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence by calling us at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online, and see some of the best orthopedic doctors in Colorado!

Common Types of Elbow Injuries

The elbow is a complex joint that permits extension and flexion of the lower arm. It also permits the rotation of the wrist and hand. The elbow is actually the junction of 3 bones: the humerus, the radius, and ulna bones.

Common Elbow Injuries

There are variety of ways you can injure your elbow. Let’s take a look at some of these ways and how orthopedic doctors typically treat them.  You will notice some of the most common injuries are named after sports. This is because the injuries are often incurred by athletes who play those sports. However, the injuries are not exclusive to athletes. There are a lot of people who do not play sports but still incur these injuries because their hobbies, activities, or occupations require similar movements to that of sports. 

Pitcher’s Elbow – Also referred to as Little League elbow, Pitcher’s elbow is an injury caused by excessive throwing motions often used in sports such as baseball or softball. Not only does Pitcher’s elbow cause pain, it can also interfere with the motion of the elbow which influences performance. Most cases of Pitcher’s elbow are treated through rest and non-surgical treatments. 

Golfer’s Elbow – This is a type of cumulative trauma injury in which the tendons that attach to the inner elbow degenerate. Golfer’s elbow is caused by repetitive motions that are similar to swinging a golf club. It causes pain that radiates from the elbow and down the forearm. Most cases of Golfer’s elbow can be treated through rest and non-surgical treatments. However, in some cases, the tendon degenerates significantly and needs surgery to fix.

Tennis Elbow – Tennis elbow is the deterioration of the tendon that attaches to the bone on the outside of the elbow. This is an overuse injury most common when the movements of hitting a ball with a tennis racket are repeated too often. Tennis elbow is most often treated through rest, physical therapy, and pain medications. 

Fracture – A fracture refers to when a bone breaks due to too much force being applied to it. The elbow is made of up the humerus, ulna, and radius bones. If one of these bones is fractured, it can cause a lot of pain, swelling, and immobility. Fractures are often treated using immobilization using splints, casts, and slings, pain medications, and physical therapy. In the situation where the fracture is significant or the bone is broken into multiple pieces, surgery may be required to fix the damage.

Elbow Pain Relief in Colorado Springs, Colorado

If you are suffering from elbow pain or have suffered an elbow injury recently, it’s important for you to see a doctor immediately. If left untreated, elbow injuries can cause a lot of unnecessary pain and become more complex and difficult to treat. The experts at the Colorado Center for Orthopedic Excellence have a wealth of knowledge, training, and experience treating every type of orthopedic injury and would love to help make you feel better. Make an appointment by calling (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online.

Causes of Shoulder Weakness and Pain

Causes of shoulder pain may vary. The shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion of all the joints in the human body. Its complexity is also its weakness, because the shoulder can become injured relatively easily.

Every time we make even the slightest motion with our arms, the shoulder is involved. And if you have arthritis, it can affect your shoulder as well as other joints.

Let’s talk about some of the reasons why you may experience shoulder pain and/or weakness, and what can be done about it.

Rotator Cuff Injury

This injury causes shoulder pain whenever you move your arm, reach, or even sleep. The injury may be a partial tear or a complete tear of a tendon in the shoulder.

The group of tendons and muscles that support the shoulder is called the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff injuries are one of the more common injuries to the shoulder.

The rotator cuff can suffer from tendonitis, tendonosis, strain, or a partial or complete tear of the tendon. This injury can also develop from repetitive stress on the shoulder. This injury can cause a stabbing, sharp pain or weakness in the shoulder whenever you move your arm in a certain way.

Shoulder pain when lying down is a standard indicator for a rotator cuff injury. The pressure of the arm being pulled flat causes the inflamed tendon to react, creating painful sensations from inside the joint.

Rotator cuff impingement occurs when irritation, inflammation, or compression of the bursae or tendons in the shoulder causes them to be pinched. This can happen due to overuse-type injury or traumatic injury.

Tear in the Glenoid Labrum

The glenoid labrum is a ring of cartilage in the shoulder that provides cushioning in the shoulder socket. This permits the ball of the shoulder to rotate freely.

The labrum performs two tasks. First, it supports the socket for the femoral head (the ball-shaped top of the femur, or upper arm bone). Second, it helps hold the structures of the shoulder together, giving it stability.

A single trauma, such as a dislocation of the shoulder, can cause the labrum to be torn completely or partially off the socket. There are varying severities of labrum tears; when it tears completely off the socket, the entire labrum must be surgically reattached.

Another type of labrum tear is damage to where the biceps tendon meets the labrum. Therefore, this type of injury usually involves a portion of the labrum as well as the tendon. 


Often just called “arthritis,” osteoarthritis in the shoulder can cause a person to be unable to reach behind them due to excruciating pain if it is attempted. Whether you are trying to put on a belt or scratch your back, shoulder arthritis can be debilitating if it is not addressed by a physician. 

Shoulder Doctors in Colorado Springs

All of these causes of shoulder pain and weakness are quite common, and they have been treated successfully for decades. Conventional methods of physical therapy and pain-relief injections can work wonders, and surgery can alleviate the pain if the injury or arthritis is severe.

If you are in Colorado and are suffering from shoulder pain or another kind of musculoskeletal injury, contact our team today at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence. Call us at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online, and let us help you find relief from your shoulder pain.

Different Types of Hip Injuries

The hips are one of the strongest parts of the human body and serve a crucial role in keeping us on our feet. Unfortunately, there are a variety of hip injuries that not only cause a lot of pain but can also bring a person’s life to a halt. Let’s take a look at some of the most common hip injuries and ways orthopedic physicians treat them. 

Hip Labral Tear

A labral tear is a type of hip injury in which the cartilage structure covering the ball and socket joint in the hip is torn or detached from the socket. Cartilage provides stability to the joint, absorbing and distributing shock and pressure when the pelvis moves. A hip labral tear is typically corrected through surgery or physical therapy, depending on the severity of the tear.

Hip Fracture

Hip fractures happen when a bone in the hip breaks. Repetitive motion and traumatic injuries due to sudden impact are common reasons for a hip fracture. As we age, our hips are more prone to fractures, so elderly individuals have to be careful in avoiding falls and accidents. A hip fracture typically require surgery to fix.

Snapping Hip Syndrome (Dancer’s Hip)

A hip condition that is caused by repetitive movements is the snapping hip syndrome (also called Dancer’s hip). This condition causes discomfort and pain when getting up to stand from a sitting position and when walking or running. It causes a snapping or popping sound when the pelvic region is flexed or stretched. Dancer’s hip often occurs to ballet dancers, gymnasts, and equestrians. Snapping hip syndrome is treated in a variety of ways including rest, physical therapy, and steroid injections.


Bursitis is considered one of the most common hip injuries. Bursitis happens in the hip when the bursae, a liquid filled sac that serves as a cushion to the bones, tendons, and muscles near the pelvic joint, is inflamed. This condition often occurs in women and middle-aged people. Common symptoms include pain during squatting, climbing steps, and walking, and swelling and warmth in the outer thigh. Bursitis is treated through medication, physical therapy, injections, and surgery. The specific treatment a patient needs depends on the severity of the condition.

Hip Dislocation

A hip dislocation is a misalignment of the thighbone out of the ball and socket joint. This happens when a strong force is applied to the hips or due to a congenital deformation, such as hip dysplasia. The most common symptoms associated with a hip dislocation are pain and inability to bear weight on the hip. A hip dislocation is typically treated through a process called reduction (manipulation of the leg to move the hip bones back into place) or surgery. 

These are just a few hip injuries the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence treats every day. If you experience hip pain and or have a hip injury, get an appointment with one of our board-certified physicians for a correct diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. Call us today at (719) 623-1050 or set an appointment online.

Elbow Injuries

Most of us have had an elbow injury at some point – if only just a knock to the “funny bone,” which can cause an uncomfortable shooting sensation along the forearm (although this is usually short-lived). However, some elbow injuries can be more problematic and require medical attention.

The elbow is a complicated joint, where the bottom of the humerus (upper arm bone) meets the bones of the forearm (the ulna and the radius) to form a hinge joint. The elbow not only allows these bones to move forward and backward but allows them to rotate in a twisting motion.

Your elbow is made up of bone, cartilage, and ligaments with muscles and tendons to help the joint move. When the elbow is damaged it can cause pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, and weakness and can limit your range of movement.

What Injuries Can Affect the Elbow?

Sudden Elbow Injuries

Some elbow injuries occur suddenly as the result of a direct blow to the area. Pain is usually felt immediately and bruising or swelling can follow. Sudden elbow injuries may include:

  • Dislocation. This occurs when one of the bones in the elbow joint gets knocked out of place, usually the result of putting your arms out during a fall. It can cause severe pain and swelling and requires immediate medical treatment. Young children can also suffer from dislocated elbows if swung by their forearms – a condition known as nursemaid’s elbow.
  • Fractures. More commonly known as bone breaks, fractures are usually the result of a sudden blow to the elbow. A fracture can be extremely tiny (what is known as a hairline fracture), or it may involve complete breaks of the bone. Treatment may involve casting without surgery, but more complicated breaks will require surgical intervention to assure the bones heal together properly.
  • Elbow sprains and strains. These injuries involve the tearing or overstretching of ligaments (known as sprains) or muscles (which are called strains). These injuries usually occur when you put a lot of pressure on your muscles such as when lift heavy objects or strenuous exercise without proper warm-up beforehand. Sprains and strains can be treated with rest, ice, and stretching and strengthening exercises once the pain is gone. If your pain persists, talk to your orthopedic doctor.

Progressive Elbow Injuries

Other elbow injuries can accumulate over time and are often a result of repetitive movement that places stress on a joint and gradually gets worse.

  • Tendonitis. This is a painful condition that occurs when tendons become inflamed or irritated. Tendonitis in the elbow is usually the result of overuse, which overloads the tendons and they become damaged causing pain and tenderness around the elbow joint. Symptoms usually develop gradually and worsen over time especially during activities using the forearm. Tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and pitcher’s elbow are all forms of tendonitis. Many cases of tendonitis respond to rest and nonoperative treatments such as icing, anti-inflammatory medication including cortisone injections, immobilization, and physical therapy. If left untreated, tendonitis can cause more serious problems that require surgery. 
  • Bursitis. This elbow injury is due to inflammation of the bursa, which are small sacs of fluid that help to cushion joints and lubricate bones, tendons and muscles. Elbow bursitis is often caused by injury, prolonged pressure (such as leaning on the tip of the elbow for long periods) or repetitive movement. It can also be caused by an infection or medical condition such as arthritis or gout. Treatment depends on the cause of your bursitis, although rest, ice, and pain medication can help.
  • Trapped nerves. Pinched nerves in or near the elbow can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness of the arm, wrist, or hand. Cubital tunnel syndrome affects the ulnar nerve at the elbow. Nerves may become compressed as the result of repetitive stress. In most cases, nonsurgical treatments can relieve symptoms. This includes bracing, rest, and pain relief. In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence

Elbow injuries can range in complexity. Your treatment options will depend on the type of injury you have sustained. We use the most innovative and minimally invasive treatments available today, including joint injections, cryotherapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and rehabilitation.

If you are suffering with elbow pain, the orthopedic professionals at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence can offer you the help you need. Call us at (719) 623-1050 today or request an appointment now.

Occupational Physical Therapy

Most everyone is familiar with Physical Therapy. You are injured during an accident or rehabilitating from surgery, you work with a physical therapist to continue the healing and recovery process. Not as familiar to some but imperative to your health and well-being, Occupational Therapy ensures that you are able to conduct your activities of daily living in a healthy, pain-free and efficient way. If you have been injured on the job, or your workspace is causing you to experience pain, perhaps it’s time to see an Occupational Therapist.

PT vs. OT

When you see a physical therapist, you expect to see steady improvement in movement, dexterity and reach. You might be asked to do certain exercises, or undergo therapeutic massage or manipulations. To accomplish this, a physical therapist will conduct a thorough physical evaluation and diagnostic testing to customize your unique treatment plan. On the other hand, Occupational Therapy doesn’t use these direct methods to treat injuries. Rather, it uses evaluations and assessments based on your daily and work-related tasks and activities to customize treatment for each patient. Evaluations and assessments can be tailored to both home and work environment to ensure adaptability in each scenario. These evaluations will serve as a guide to reduce or prevent task- and work-related injury and damage.

When Do You Need Occupational Therapy?

In general, Occupational Therapy is recommended for those who are hurt on the job. Some workers may receive workman’s compensation for an acute condition, while others may have experienced a lifetime of wear and tear that finally has taken its toll. A variety of examples of task- or work-related conditions include, carpal tunnel syndrome, back issues, rotator cuff injuries, thumb joint arthritis, DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis and neck pain. Working with you, your occupational therapist will observe your work postures and habits, and will make recommendations as to how to work more efficiently by reducing strain on your body. Your occupational therapist may make recommendations as to how to make your workspace more ergonomic, or may offer certain accommodations, such as wearing protective or supportive gear or lifting less. Many times your occupational therapist will work with your employer to ensure these adaptations are in place. The goal is to create a goal-oriented plan that will restore your health and productivity, while lessening the risk of chronic pain and/or long-term injury.

Orthopaedic Experts in Colorado Springs

Orthopaedic care, physical therapy and occupational therapy all work hand in hand. If you are hurt on the job, you may require the expertise of an orthopaedist, as well as the support of a physical therapist to help you regain your full range of productivity. Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence is the first choice of active people in the Springs. Hurt on the job? Our occupational therapy staff is part of our dynamic team to ensure every day at work is pain- and injury free.Contact the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 or make your appointment online.

Common Gymnastics Injuries

Common gymnastics injuries occur as gymnastics is the kind of sport that requires coordination, endurance, and strength. The ability to mold and bend the body into different movements and positions display an individual’s ability to balance and control parts of the body such as the arms, legs, shoulder, back, chest and abdominal muscles. However, if the body is not appropriately conditioned, bending and stretching the body at a certain angle could cause serious injury.

In gymnastics, failing to achieve a particular position affects the points given in competition and could negatively impact a gymnast’s career. Therefore, flexibility or bending and stretching at a certain angle plays a vital role in such a sport. Flexibility helps improve your balance and increase your strength and stability. However, if you are not properly trained or conditioned, you can permanently damage your body. 

Common gymnastics injuries include:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear. One very common injury gymnasts suffer from is an anterior cruciate ligament tear, commonly known as an ACL tear. It occurs in the knee, when making rapid changes in direction. In an ACL tear, one of the main ligaments in your knee is torn. Among gymnasts, this type of injury may be likely to occur during tumbling, vaulting, or dismounting. 
  • Achilles Tendonitis. This tendon injury occurs when a tendon the back of the lower leg – usually at the back of the heel – is irritated or inflamed. The Achilles tendon, or calcaneal tendon, connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. The injury often occurs when there’s repetitive stress from jumping and landing. Treating Achilles tendonitis may involve ultrasound, stretching, activity modification, and calf exercises.
  • Ankle Sprain. Ankle sprains are extremely common. They occur when you land awkwardly on your foot, especially after a jump. When you twist your ankle in this way, what you’ve done is stretched or torn ligaments that attach bones to muscles at the joints. You will feel the effects of an ankle sprain right away – and may not be able to put any weight on the affected ankle. Surgery is rarely needed to treat ankle sprains, but it can sideline you for a while until the ankle is strong enough to return to the gym. Once you sprain your ankle, you are susceptible to re-injuring the area in the future.

Preventing Gymnastics Injuries

Gymnastics is one of the most physically challenging sports. It requires intensive training, which itself requires that you be in good physical condition to avoid injuries or damages to the body.

To avoid injuries and fractures, make sure to warm up properly and stretch regularly before strenuous routines or practices. Muscles and ligaments require conditioning; and muscles need to be warmed up before are flexible enough to properly stretch.  

Pay attention to your body. Gymnastics or any type of athletic activity requires you be in good shape enough for the activity before you begin it. To stay healthy, you must be constantly aware of any changes, damage, or injury. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, see an orthopedic specialist right away.

Orthopedic Care in Colorado

If you are in Colorado Springs and you happen to have a concern regarding your bones, muscles, joints, or any orthopedic-related issue requiring diagnosis and treatment, visit the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence.

Meet our board-certified specialists, surgeons, and physical therapists and find out how they can help you. Call (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment today.

Physical Therapy to Treat Injuries

Physical therapy can help people of all ages regain motion or improve their function after suffering any of a variety of injuries and illnesses. The main aim of physical therapy is to get a person back to the point where they can perform normal, everyday activities without difficulty or pain.

If you have an injury, your physical therapist (PT) can design a customized program and work with you to regain your strength, flexibility, and range of motion after your injury. The therapist may suggest and demonstrate a variety of treatments, including aquatic therapy and acupuncture, as well as specific therapeutic exercises and stretches. The PT will also devise a home exercise program to aid your recovery.

Your physical therapist can work with you to find activities and lifestyle changes in order to improve your overall health and to help prevent further injuries. If you suffer from a sports injury, your physical therapist can design an appropriate exercise program to help you get back to your sport as quickly and safely as possible while also helping you to avoid re-injuring that area of your body.

How Can Physical Therapy Treat My Sports Injuries?

Your physical therapist will use a variety of treatments and techniques to aid in your recovery, including the following:

  • Exercising will help you improve muscle function and strength and increase your range of motion. Your physical therapist may also work on strengthening your core muscles (abdominal, back, and pelvic muscles), as this improves balance and stability and helps to reduce further injuries.
  • Stretching can help increase or maintain your range of motion and flexibility, especially after an injury. Stretching can also help you recover from surgery, where scar tissue has formed and has caused the tissue to contract and tighten.
  • Ice or heat helps to warm up or cool down the muscles. Your PT may apply heat therapy to help reduce stiffness and ice therapy to help reduce pain. These therapies can also stimulate blood flow and reduce swelling.

How PTs Treat Other Injuries

Injuries that can also benefit from physical therapy include muscle strains, joint sprains, and repetitive-motion injury. A physical therapist will show you how to do the proper exercises and stretches that you should continue repeating at home in order to heal. Be patient – many of these injuries can take many months to heal completely.

Age-related joint damage, such as in arthritis, can also be helped by physical therapy. Our therapists work with our doctors to ensure you are gaining the most from your therapy, and to determine whether you may possibly need more invasive treatments to alleviate your pain.

Physical Therapy in Colorado Springs

Physical therapy can provide many benefits to patients with injuries, including reducing or eliminating the need for surgery, improving mobility, reducing or eliminating pain, and improving balance and strength. At the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence, we have a team of specialists providing comprehensive orthopedic care, physical therapy, and sports medicine in a compassionate manner.

To schedule an appointment, call us today at (719) 623-1050. You can also request an appointment online. We can help provide the relief you need in order to get back to doing the things you love.

What Makes the Shoulder So Delicate?

Shoulders are the most mobile joint of the human body. They offer the greatest range of motion – and because of this flexibility, it is one of the most injured joints in the body. The shoulder involves three bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), the clavicle (collarbone), and the scapula (shoulder blade).

Your shoulder enables you to lift and throw objects in every way, including overhead. The ability to use your hands is largely thanks to the capability of the shoulder joint. 

In addition to the three bones that form the joint, there are numerous ligaments, tendons, and nerves that all play a significant role in using the shoulder. There is a joint capsule that is composed of a group of ligaments which connect the humerus to the glenoid socket, and these ligaments are responsible for stabilizing the shoulder joint.

Shoulder Injuries

When a shoulder is injured, the pain usually worsens with any movement of the arm. Let’s talk about the most common injuries, particularly a torn rotator cuff.

Rotator Cuff Tear

One of the most common types of shoulder injury is a torn rotator cuff. The rotator cuff comprises the tendons that attach the muscles to the bones around the shoulder joint.

An injury to the rotator cuff can cause a dull ache in the shoulder. The pain often gets worse if you try to sleep on that side or if you continue doing the motion that caused the injury. This injury occurs most frequently in people who perform overhead or repetitive motions in the course of their job or sports.

How Do You Get a Torn Rotator Cuff?

Painters, carpenters, hairdressers, artists, baseball players, and tennis players are all susceptible to a torn rotator cuff. Chances of injury increases with age and extensive use. 

Sometimes rotator cuff injuries are a result of a single acute incident. In cases like this, medical care should be sought as soon as possible so that the injury does not continue to worsen.

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injury

If your rotator cuff is torn partially or fully, you will feel pain. It can be described as a dull ache deep in the shoulder or disabling pain whenever the arm is used or when pressure is placed on the rotator cuff.

It is often impossible to sleep on the affected shoulder, because the pain will awake you. You will also have difficulty reaching up to comb your hair, reaching back to put on a shirt, or reaching behind your torso.

Without treatment, rotator cuff problems may lead to permanent loss of motion and degeneration of the joint, necessitating shoulder replacement surgery. Even though using the joint is painful with this condition, keeping the shoulder completely immobilized can lead to a shortening and thickening of the connective tissues, resulting in frozen shoulder syndrome.

Your doctor will explain how much and how you should move your shoulder while it heals. Because tendons and ligaments take a longer time to heal than do muscles and skin, you can assume that your shoulder is healing as long as you are letting it rest and only moving gently.

Orthopedic Surgeons in Colorado

If you or someone you know has pain deep in the shoulder, it is likely that the cause is a torn rotator cuff. Contact the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence and let us perform a medical evaluation of your shoulder. 

Call us today at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online. Don’t let an aching shoulder keep you down and out any longer – seek help from Colorado’s premier orthopedists!

Biceps Tendonitis

Sometimes our shoulders can ache and hurt, but it is not necessarily due to a shoulder injury – it may be due to a slow development of biceps tendonitis. Tendons are tough connective tissues that attach the muscles to the bones, enabling the body to move.

The biceps muscle is located in the upper arm, and it connects via three tendons: Two of them are attached to the scapula (shoulder blade), and the other is attached to the radius bone at the elbow. The “-itis” suffix means inflammation, which in this case can occur from overusing the muscle.

Causes of Tendonitis in the Biceps

The location of the pain will provide an idea of which biceps tendon is hurt. Types of biceps tendonitis include:

  • Distal biceps tendonitis and tear at the elbow
  • Proximal biceps tendonitis at the shoulder
  • Proximal biceps tendon tear at the shoulder

Although tendons are tough, they can be injured from overuse, trauma like from a fall or an accident, and sports injuries. People who play baseball, swim competitively, or play tennis or golf are at an increased risk for inflammation and small tears of these tendons, and this can cause pain. 

While it is possible to get biceps tendonitis at both ends of the biceps, it is usually only one end that is affected. Inflammation in the shoulder or upper portion of the biceps tendon can occur concurrently with rotator cuff tendonitis, because the biceps tendon is actually one of the tendons that comprise the rotator cuff.

How Is It Diagnosed? 

An orthopedist will examine the shoulder, check the range of motion, and note any portion of the movement that causes pain. The physician will assess the shoulder’s performance for proper motion, strength, and signs of instability.

If it is determined that a problem exists, the orthopedist may order diagnostic imaging exams like an X-ray to see whether any other problems are present in the shoulder. After the scan, the doctor may order an MRI to verify whether the biceps tendon shows any tears or damage.

Treating Biceps Tendonitis 

At first, conservative methods will be used to seek improvements, such as the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The doctor may also advise that you take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, and possibly recommend wearing a sling for a couple of weeks to immobilize the joint and give it time to heal on its own.

If these don’t result in any improvement, steroid injections can be done to try to relieve some discomfort. A course of physical therapy can also help to strengthen the surrounding muscle tissues to help relieve the pressure being placed on the inflamed tendons. 

If conservative measures do not help, the orthopedist may recommend surgery – especially if other severe shoulder problems exist. This surgery is usually done arthroscopically, which is a minimally invasive technique that requires less recovery time than traditional “open” surgery. Your orthopedic surgeon will determine which treatment should have the best results in your case.

Shoulder Surgeon in Colorado Springs

If you are having shoulder pain, it may be caused by biceps tendonitis. It’s a good idea to have your shoulder evaluated by a skilled and experienced orthopedic physician who understands musculoskeletal injuries and how best to treat them.

Contact us at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence by calling (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online, and get on the road to recovery with some of the most talented orthopedists in Colorado.