At The Medical Center of Aurora (TMCA), our team of leading orthopedic specialists treats bone, joint and muscle injuries from head to toe. We focus on providing comprehensive patient education and treatment options to get you back to your everyday life as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Our approach to orthopedic shoulder treatment includes proven non-surgical methods of rehabilitation and cutting-edge minimally invasive surgical treatments to repair injuries and illness in a safe and effective way. We work collaboratively with a team of surgeons, specialists, nurses, staff and rehabilitation experts to provide leading care through each stage of the treatment and recovery journey.

#1 in Patient Satisfaction

At TMCA, we’re dedicated to achieving great outcomes for our patients. Our facilities are state-of-the-art, with newly renovated ORs and the latest available technology for orthopedic surgery.

Our outstanding physicians and world-class operating and treatment facilities have made us #1 in outpatient satisfaction scores among Denver HealthONE hospitals.

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For more information about orthopedic shoulder treatment at TMCA, or to schedule an appointment, please call 303-873-0630.

Shoulder Conditions We Treat

Conditions In Depth

Arthritis of the Shoulder

Arthritis of the shoulder is joint inflammation of the shoulder and can cause discomfort, pain, and decreased mobility in the shoulder.

The team of orthopedic surgeons at TMCA treats arthritis with the goals of relieving pain, maintaining mobility and function, and improving quality of life. Treatment can include lifestyle changes, medications, surgery and more. Learn more here.

Clavicle fracture (broken collarbone)

A clavicle fracture is a break in the clavicle bone (also called the collarbone). It connects the sternum (breastplate) to the shoulder. Symptoms of a clavicle fracture include severe pain, sagging shoulder, inability to lift the arm because of pain and a lump or visible deformity over the fracture site.

Most clavicle fractures can be treated either with a figure-of-eight strap, which is wrapped around the body and the shoulders, or with the arm in a sling. These devices help hold the shoulder in place while the clavicle heals. Surgery may rarely be needed to set the bone. The doctor may insert pins or a plate and screws in the bone to hold it in place while it heals. An adult may require 8-10 weeks to heal, followed by specific exercises prescribed by a physical therapist to strengthen the shoulder and increase range of motion. Learn more here.

Dislocated shoulder

A shoulder dislocation occurs when the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) pops out of the shallow shoulder socket. This can happen when a strong force pulls the shoulder upward or outward, or from an extreme external rotation of the humerus. In a partial dislocation, the head of the humerus slips out of the socket momentarily and then snaps back into place. In a full shoulder dislocation, the head of the humerus comes completely out of the socket.

If you or a loved one has a dislocated shoulder, seek medical care right away. Do not try to put your shoulder bones back into place. When you arrive at TMCA for treatment, the orthopedic physician will move the head of the humerus back into the shoulder joint socket by applying traction to your arm. After the procedure, you will need to wear a sling or shoulder immobilizer to keep the shoulder from moving. The shoulder is generally immobilized for about 4 weeks, and full recovery takes several months. Surgery is rarely needed for a first time dislocation. It is often needed for a shoulder that dislocates repeatedly. Learn more here.

Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a tightening of the tissue around the shoulder joint. It results in a loss of movement and pain at the shoulder joint. This condition may get worse over time. After a period of time, the shoulder may also improve spontaneously. This improvement is called thawing.

At TMCA, treatment for frozen shoulder focuses on relieving pain and restoring function and range of motion to the shoulder. Non-surgical treatment options include pain relief with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injections, muscle relaxants, heating and ice and physical therapy.

Surgical procedures to treat frozen shoulder include closed manipulation surgery, a forceful movement of the arm at the shoulder joint performed under anesthesia, or arthroscopic surgery to release the tightened tissues.

After a procedure to relieve frozen shoulder, intensive physical therapy and rehabilitation is often required to regain full strength and function in the shoulder. Learn more here.

Labral tear

A shoulder labral tear is tear of the labrum. The labrum is the tissue that helps hold the end of the arm bone, known as the humerus, in place.

The orthopedic physicians at TMCA first attempt to treat a labral tear with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), rest, ice and physical therapy. If there is no improvement after several weeks of this treatment, surgery is considered. Surgery to repair a labral tear is called shoulder arthroscopy. Learn more here.

Rotator cuff injury

The rotator cuff is made up of muscles and 4 separate tendons that fuse together to surround the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff injury may include tendinitis, strain, or tear of the rotator cuff.

Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury can include recurrent or constant pain, shoulder muscle weakness, especially when lifting the arm, and limited range of motion in the shoulder joint.

If nonsurgical approaches to repairing a rotator cuff injury are unsuccessful, surgical options include acromioplasty, arthroscopy or open surgery. Depending on the extent of your injury, full recovery can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months or longer. Learn more here.

Shoulder instability (chronic or acute)

Shoulder instability occurs when the upper-end of the arm bone, known as the humerus, slides partially or completely out of the shoulder socket. It’s commonly caused by injury or trauma and results in pain, weakness, and numbness in the shoulder.

Non-surgical treatments for shoulder instability can include rest and physical therapy, ice to reduce inflammation, anti-inflammatory drugs and medications for pain relief.

Surgical procedures may also be used to treat shoulder instability, address the root cause of the injury and stabilize the shoulder. Learn more here.

Shoulder replacement

Shoulder replacement surgery replaces a worn, painful shoulder joint with a new, functional joint made from metal and plastic. The surgery relieves debilitating shoulder joint pain caused by a shoulder condition or injury that interferes with daily life.

On the day of your shoulder replacement surgery, you will arrive at TMCA and be prepared for surgery and placed under anesthesia. The orthopedic surgeon will remove the shoulder joint and replace it with a shoulder implant that includes a ball, socket, and stem parts. The surgery will take a few hours and hospital stays are typically 2-3 days. You will wear an arm sling for the first several weeks after surgery while your shoulder muscles heal, and will require physical therapy to regain full function of your shoulder. Learn more here.

Shoulder sprain

A shoulder sprain is stretching or tearing of the ligaments that stabilize the shoulder. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that cross joints and connect bones to each other. Shoulder sprains may be caused by falling on an outstretched arm, forced twisting of the arm, a blow to the shoulder or overuse or repetitive movement of the shoulder joint. Surgery is rarely needed to repair a mild shoulder sprain without instability or dysfunction, and treatment often includes rest, ice, pain relief medications, a brace or sling to stabilize the shoulder, and physical therapy. Learn more here.