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Shoulder Specialist Near Me in Pittsburgh

Rotator Cuff Tear & Other Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries of the shoulder are some of the most common injuries seen by orthopaedic surgeons. The shoulder is a complex joint with many different structures working together to allow for a wide range of motion. These structures include the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When any of these structures are injured, it can cause pain and decreased range of motion in the shoulder.

There are many different types of shoulder soft tissue injuries, but some of the most common include:

  • Rotator cuff tears - A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attach the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone. These muscles and tendons help to lift the arm. A rotator cuff tear can occur when there is a sudden force placed on the arm, such as when falling on an outstretched hand. A rotator cuff tear causes severe pain, weakness of the arm and crackling sensation on moving the shoulder in certain positions. There may be stiffness, swelling, loss of movement and tenderness in the front of the shoulder.This type of injury can also occur gradually over time from wear and tear.
  • Biceps tendon tears - The biceps tendon attaches the biceps muscle to the shoulder and helps to lift the arm. A biceps tendon tear can occur suddenly, such as with a fall, or gradually over time from wear and tear. It can cause symptoms like pain in the front of the shoulder that gets worse with movement, loss of strength in the arm, and a popping or snapping sensation when the arm is moved.
  • SLAP tears - The superior labrum is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder socket. The biceps tendon attaches to this ring of cartilage. A SLAP tear is a tear of the superior labrum and biceps tendon. The most common symptom is a pain at the top of the shoulder joint. In addition, a catching sensation and pain most often with activities such as throwing may also occur.

If you have sustained a shoulder injury that is accompanied by soft tissue injury symptoms, you should visit an orthopaedic shoulder specialist right away. The specialist will perform a thorough examination of your shoulder and may order imaging tests, such as an MRI, to make a diagnosis. Early intervention is crucial for soft tissue injuries, as they can often lead to chronic pain and decreased range of motion if left untreated.

orthopaedic specialist Brian J. Kelly MD will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is specific to your injury, lifestyle, and goals. Dr. Brian Kelly and his team are dedicated to helping patients recover from injuries and find pain relief. If you are looking for orthopaedic treatment, schedule an appointment at the office of Brian J. Kelly MD today.


X-ray view of a woman walking

Pittsburgh’s Best Shoulder orthopaedic Surgeon

Rotator Cuff Repair & Joint Replacements 

Treatment for soft tissue injuries of the shoulder will vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. In most cases, however, treatment will begin with conservative measures such as rest, ice, heat, and physical therapy. If these measures do not provide relief from symptoms, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend that you explore surgical options.

Surgical procedures for soft tissue injuries can include:

  • Shoulder arthroscopy - Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical procedure performed for various joint problems. Shoulder arthroscopy is performed using a pencil-sized instrument called an arthroscope. The arthroscope consists of a light system and camera that projects images of the surgical site onto a computer screen for your surgeon to view. Arthroscopy is used to treat diseases, conditions, and injuries involving the bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles of the shoulder joint. We often utilize this procedure to treat rotator cuff tears, biceps tendonitis, and shoulder instability.
  • Shoulder joint replacement - Total shoulder replacement surgery is performed to relieve symptoms of severe shoulder pain and disability due to arthritis or a massive rotator cuff tear. In this surgery, the damaged articulating parts of the shoulder joint are removed and replaced with prostheses. Replacement of both the humeral head and the socket is called a total shoulder replacement.
  • Rotator cuff repair - Rotator cuff repair is a surgery to repair an injured or torn rotator cuff. It is usually performed arthroscopically on an outpatient basis. An arthroscope allows your doctor to look for any damage, assess the type of injury, and repair it. Large rotator cuff tears may require open surgery.
  • SLAP repair - A SLAP repair is a minimally invasive surgery that uses an arthroscope. The type of SLAP repair depends on the type of tear involved and will be determined once your surgeon views the joint. Your surgeon will then identify the type of SLAP tear and remove the damaged tissue of the labrum. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and a nerve block.

The type of surgical procedure required will depend on the type and severity of your soft tissue injury. Your orthopaedic surgeon can advise you on which treatment would be best suited to your needs. 

If you are looking for orthopaedic surgery near you, let the orthopaedic surgeons at Brian J. Kelly MD help. Dr. Brian Kelly is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon with an expert team of specialists who are dedicated to helping patients recover from injuries. Schedule an appointment today with the office of Brian J. Kelly MD to return to a pain-free life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I treat my rotator cuff tear without getting surgery?

At Brian J. Kelly MD, we will always attempt conservative treatments before proposing surgical intervention. The conservative treatment options for rotator cuff tears are:

  • Rest.
  • A shoulder Sling.
  • Pain medication.
  • Injection of a steroid (cortisone) and a local anesthetic in the subacromial space of the affected shoulder to relieve inflammation and pain.
  • Exercises to strengthen the muscle and restore function.

At our office, we value our patients’ input and prioritize their comfortability. Dr. Brian Kelly and his team will collaborate with you to make sure you are getting the treatment that makes the most sense for your condition.

How do I know if I need shoulder arthroscopy?

When conservative treatment such as medication and therapy fails to relieve pain and disability, shoulder arthroscopy is indicated to treat the following shoulder conditions:

  • Shoulder impingement.
  • Rotator cuff tear. 
  • Frozen shoulder or stiffness of the shoulder joint.
  • Shoulder instability.
  • Biceps rupture.
  • Damaged cartilage or ligaments.
  • Bone spurs or bony projections.
  • Arthritis of the collarbone.

At Brian J. Kelly MD, we utilize arthroscopic procedures to treat a variety of injuries. Dr. Kelly and his team can evaluate your condition and help determine whether shoulder arthroscopy is right for you.

How long does it take to recover from shoulder surgery?

After your shoulder surgery, the small surgical wounds take a few days to heal and the surgical dressing is replaced by simple Band-Aids. The recovery time will depend on the type and extent of the problem for which the procedure was performed. Pain medications are prescribed to keep you comfortable, and the arm of the affected shoulder is placed in a sling for a short period, as recommended by your orthopaedic surgeon. Physical therapy is advised to improve shoulder mobility and strength after the surgery. 

At the office of Brian J. Kelly MD, your care doesn’t end after the procedure. We will maintain communication, monitor your condition, and provide all the support we can to ensure that you have a successful recovery.

How can I get started with a shoulder pain doctor near me?

If you are looking for a shoulder doctor near you, you have come to the right place. Dr. Brian Kelly and his team of orthopaedic specialists are dedicated to providing exceptional care for their patients. They have helped countless athletes, older adults, and busy professionals to return to their daily lives without pain or discomfort.

 No one should have to sit out from the activities they enjoy because of joint pain. Let the team at Brian J. Kelly MD guide you to a full recovery by scheduling an appointment today. You can contact us by phone at 412-262-7800, or visit our office at 725 Cherrington Pkwy, Suite 200, Moon Township, PA 15208.

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