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Causes of Shoulder Bursitis

This is the first of a series of five videos on common shoulder injuries and their treatments.  In this video, Dr. Bennett talks about the anatomy of shoulder bursitis and impingement syndrome.  If you have questions or you’re experiencing shoulder pain, you can call our office for an appointment at 281-633-8600 for our Sugar Land clinic and 713-234-3152 for our Houston clinic.

Dr. Bennett is a shoulder specialist, a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and a Fellowship Trained Sports Medicine Specialist.



Summary of Causes of Shoulder Bursitis and Impingement Syndrome

– Hello, my name is Dr. J. Michael Bennett. I am a member of the Fondren Orthopedic Group, and I am a Sports Medicine Specialist who specializes in injuries to the shoulder, elbow, and knee.

Today we’re going to do videos on five shoulder pathologies within five minutes (it ran a little over that time limit). So I’m going to try to cover as much as I can within these five topics, and if you have any further questions or want to look into this further, please go to our website.

Shoulder Injuries Can Cause Arm Pain

Many patients come to our office complaining of general shoulder pain. This type of shoulder pain can occur in different areas of the shoulder. Most people usually describe it as occurring right here in the mid-humerus region. 

A lot of people actually think that’s not necessarily shoulder pain because it’s a little bit lower than where the shoulder is. A lot of times it’s referred pain. You may have an issue with the rotator cuff. You may have an issue with the bursa. And that oftentimes refers the pain down to about mid-shaft of the humerus here.

Bursitis and Impingement Syndrome Are Common Issues

So one of the big or most common issues that we see in the shoulder is something called bursitis and impingement. This can come about very suddenly. Sometimes it can be the way you sleep at night. Sometimes it can have to do with doing a lot of repetitive activity. 

Between the rotator cuff muscle and tendon, which is in green, you’ve got a little space here, okay? That little space is a little fluid sac, and it’s called the bursa. That bursa is normal. It allows you to have mobility and allows that tendon to glide underneath these bones.What it looks like is when you look at the shoulder joint, you’ve got the bone, the socket of the shoulder joint, and these are your bones and the joint. Above that bone socket, you’ve got your acromion and the clavicle. So there’s the roof of the joint, and then you’ve got the rotator cuff right in between. This is in green right here.

Sometimes that bursa gets really inflamed and thickened, and that’s called bursitis.  It becomes very painful, particularly with this certain motion.

Most people will have full motion, but they’ll have pain when they lift the arm to about 90 degrees and above. And that’s when that bursa gets pinched. When this shoulder rotates upward like this, this bone rotates underneath this little roof here, and it pinches that little bursa, and it actually also pinches the tendon. That becomes painful, and that’s what we call bursitis.

We also call that impingement syndrome, because sometimes you can also have a little bone spur here that can contribute to irritating that bursa as well. So that is number one.

Don’t Put Off a Medical Evaluation of Shoulder Pain

Many shoulder injuries get worse over time, and that can make treatment much more difficult.  If you have shoulder pain or possible bursitis, don’t wait.  Call our offices for an appointment at 281-633-8600 for Sugar Land or 713-234-3152 for Houston.

Dr. Bennett has done additional videos covering shoulder injuries including:

Dr. J. Michael Bennett

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